Transcendentalism In Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay, Self Reliance, had many points that stood out to me in understanding the importance of individuality and supporting oneself. The main quote that resonates with me is “Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.” This quote is prevalent in my life because I have particular doubts whether it is with schoolwork, my friends I affiliate myself with, or the sports I decide to play. This quote inspires me to trust myself in whatever I do and realize I have a purpose in life, understanding that the chain of events happening in my life is for a greater purpose. Emerson’s quote is defiantly thought provoking, especially in the time of his life because there were many reforms that came about during the 1800s. These changes came about through events such as the temperance movement, labor movements, women’s suffrage, education reforms, and religious reforms. All of these social reforms became the basis of change for America. I feel as if Emerson’s quote reflects this time period because many people were coming together for causes they care about in order to better America. They trusted themselves in what they believed in, realizing that the time period they were in was the perfect opportunity for change. For example, with the case of Dorthea Dix and prison and asylum reform; many people didn’t care about the conditions of prisoners and the mentally ill. However, Dorthea Dix did not allow for anyone’s opinions or the intimidation of a legislative all-male audience change her mind in what she believed in. The most important idea that stems from Emerson’s quote, and the idea of transcendentalism, is that the reliance on, and acceptance of ourselves are the keys to achieving ‘oneness’ by the way of trusting our thoughts.
Emerson’s quote is also pertinent to today’s time considering that many people allow the actions in society to influence their thoughts and actions. We cannot base our actions and feelings on how others
the prime of transcendentalism embodied the tenets which defined the movement. In particular, the essay Self Reliance written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, displays the importance of rejecting materialism. The title of the passage gives way to one of the major themes: to rely on one’s own spirit and mind, rather than on material items. It is apparent in Emerson’s writing that he fully advocates the importance of putting one’s character and self-worth before any other element of life. Emerson talks of such…
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were two writers during the transcendentalism era. Their beliefs, such as simplicity, self-reliance, and nature, are still relevant in our society today.
Henry David Thoreau was a firm believer that people spend too much time buying luxuries to really enjoy/appreciate anything at all. In the 1800's as well as now, prices continue to rise and people are being forced to work more and more just to make ends meet. This wouldn't be a problem if more people…
Mr. Andrew Werhane
English 11 Accelerated
October 5, 2014
Clash of Ideas: The Transcendentalism and AntiTranscendentalist View on the World
There was a period of time during the 1800’s called the Romanticism period; it was a
period of artistic, literary and, intellectual movement. During the Romanticism period there were
two main groups
of people, the transcendentalist and the antitranscendentalist. While the transcendentalist were
rise through the l…
views and ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson and depicted his agreement in the form of his famous novel The Scarlet Letter. Transcendentalism was a religious and philosophical movement that enforced the idea that society and its institutions corrupted the purity of the individual and led to a life of misery and depression. Ralph Waldo Emerson was at the forefront of the transcendentalism movement and was seen as a champion of individualism. In his famous essay Self Reliance, Emerson promotes the importance…
farming became considerably easier, which altered the agricultural focused economy the United States had. Jobs were changed from the farm, to the factory, and this shift allowed people with money to focus more on education then working (PBS).
Ralph Waldo Emerson took advantage of this. Being well educated and inheriting a large sum of money from his first wife, he was able to publish a literary magazine called The Dial where people of like thinking could express their ideas. His location in the North…
Transcendentalism, based in New England, was a movement of the nineteenth century that believed individual experience ruled over logical reasoning. Writers involved in this movement were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Oliver Wendell Holmes. These poets all had a strong connection with nature.
In his poems, Oliver Wendell Holmes utilizes imagery, symbolism, and hope to portray the strong will of the people during Transcendentalism. For example, Oliver Wendell Holmes showed how strong…
9 March 2015
A Battle: Self versus Society
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” This famous quote reflects the tension felt between the individual and society for some of the later Romantic writers and is apparent in their work. Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau firmly believed that the individual should separate from society’s…
12 December 2014
A Symbol of Transcendentalism, Hester Prynne
James F. Cooper, an American writer, says, “tis hard to live in a world where all look upon you as below them.” This comment basically says that it is hard to live in a world where everybody looks down on you. This explains Hester Prynne’s lifestyle in every single way. With her husband Roger Chillingworth away, Hester Prynne commits the act of adultery with Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister at…
Crawford’s life to pursue her quest for identity, and to find out what love truly is. This journey coincides the philosophy of Transcendentalism, which stresses emphasis on the individual, and emotion over reason. Despite Jane’s hardships throughout the story, she doesn’t forget her aspirations and what she truly believes in. These same principles are reflected in both Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, “Self-Reliance”, and in Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”. As a result, the story portrays her journey…
The meaning of life has been contemplated for millenniums and still is. Consequently transcendentalism is a way some find meaning to life as it is a philosophical movement that defined humans as being born good and easily corrupted by society. Nevertheless the main leaders of transcendentalism are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau which have influenced society today in many ways. Moreover, Chris McCandless is an example of that influence by taking transcendental tenets and applying them…