Transcendentalism. as defined by Dictionary. com. is “any doctrine based upon the philosophy that the rules of world are to be discovered by the survey of the procedures of idea. or a doctrine stressing the intuitive and religious above the empirical? ” ( Transcendentalism ) . This new doctrine created a rebellion and turn away from the traditional faiths in the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are two primary writers and boosters of Transcendentalism.
In this paper I will be concentrating on Emerson’s Nature and Thoreau’s Walden. or Life in the Woods. from now on to be referred to as merely Walden. to demo the rebellion against faith and the quest to cognize one’s self through a different manner. To get down with. I’ll start with a basic overview of what Transcendentalism was. “Transcendentalism is non a faith ( in the traditional sense of the word ) ; it is a matter-of-fact doctrine. a province of head. and a signifier of spiritualty? . [ I ] t does non reject an hereafter. but its accent is on this life” ( Reuben ) .
Transcendentalism has four basic rules. in which the transcendentalists agreed upon. The four rules are 1. An person is the religious centre of the universe – and in an person can be found the hint to nature. history and. finally. the universe itself? . The construction of the universe literally duplicates the construction of the single ego – all cognition. therefore. begins with self-knowledge. This is similar to Aristotle’s pronouncement “know thyself. ” 2. Transcendentalists accepted the neo-platonic construct of nature as a life enigma. full of marks – nature is symbolic.
3. The belief that single virtuousness and felicity depend upon self-fulfillment? this depends upon the rapprochement of two cosmopolitan psychological inclinations: a. the expansive of self-transcending inclination? a desire to encompass the whole universe? to cognize and go one with the universe. b. the catching or self-asserting inclination? the desire to retreat. stay alone and separate? an narcissistic being ( Reuben ) . As you can see. Transcendentalism moved in a different way than faith. In short. Transcendentalism stressed the single ego and the here and now.
Religion. on the other manus. Prev Page placed accent on conforming and the hereafter. The Transcendentalist motion was fueled in most portion. as mentioned in the debut. by Emerson and his work entitled Nature. and Thoreau and his work entitled Walden. I will get down with Emerson’s Nature. “The predating coevalss beheld God and nature face to face ; we. through their eyes. Why should we non hold a poesy and doctrine of penetration and non of tradition. and a faith by disclosure to us. and non the history of theirs” ( Emerson 1110 ) ?
This is how Emerson begins Nature. full of inquiries as to why we follow the coevalss before us and non believe for ourselves. He goes on to compose the proposal and favour of Transcendentalism for a new coevals. As the rubric suggests. Emerson writes about nature. and it’s interconnectedness with human existences. “We must swear the flawlessness of the creative activity so far. as to believe that whatever wonder the order of things has awakened in our heads. the order of things can satisfy” ( Emerson 1111 ) .
With this sentence we can see Emerson stressing that “ [ T ] he integrity of life and the existence must be realized. There is a relationship between all things [ and ] one must hold faith in intuition. for no church or credo can pass on truth” ( Reuben ) . In chapter five. Emerson continues the connexion between adult male and nature ; he besides applies the 3rd rule of Transcendentalism here every bit good. He writes [ a ] tierce usage which Nature subserves to adult male is that of Language. Nature is the vehicle of idea. and in a simple. dual. and treble grade. 1.
Wordss are marks of natural facts. 2. Particular natural facts are symbols of peculiar religious facts. 3. Nature is the symbol of the spirit ( Emerson 1118 ) . Transcendentalism states that adult male and nature are the same. hence the connexion between the two. By analyzing or understanding nature or adult male. you are analyzing or understanding the other. This is the message. in my sentiment. conveyed and advocated by Emerson. The following Transcendentalist writer is Henry David Thoreau and his work Walden. In Walden Thoreau writes and depict his two twelvemonth stay at his cabin at Walden Pond.
Thoreau topographic points accent on autonomy. intimacy to Prev Page nature. and purdah. Thoreau begins chapter four with composing [ B ] Greenwich Mean Time while we are confined to books. though the most choice and authoritative. and read merely peculiar written linguistic communications. which are themselves but idioms and provincial. we are in danger of burying the linguistic communication which all thins and events speak without metaphor. which entirely is voluminous and standard? . No method nor subject can supplant the necessity of being forever on the qui vive.
What is a class of history. or doctrine. or poesy. no affair how good selected. or the best society. or the most admirable modus operandi of life. compared with the subject of ever at what is to be seen? Will you be a reader. a pupil simply. or a visionary ( Thoreau 1930-31 ) ? Here Thoreau warns us against trusting on merely literature as a agency of exceeding. We need to filtrate things for ourselves and rely upon ourselves. Thoreau writes about intimacy to nature and purdah in chapter four and chapter five. Thoreau writes in chapter four about the intimacy of nature.
He writes [ s ] ometimes. in a summer forenoon. holding taken my accustomed bath. I sat in my cheery room access from dawn boulder clay midday. rapt in a reverie. amidst the pines and hickories and shumac. in undisturbed purdah and hush. while the birds sang around or flitted through the house. until by the Sun falling in at my west window. or the noise of some traveler’s waggon on the distant main road. I was reminded of the oversight of clip ( Thoreau 1931 ) . In chapter five he turns his attending to solitude.
In this chapter he writes [ s ] ome of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain storms in the spring or autumn. which confined me to the house for the afternoon every bit good as the morning. soothed by their ceaseless boom and rain ; when an early dusk ushered in a long eventide in which many ideas had clip to take root and unfold themselves ( Thoreau 1942 ) . Not merely does Thoreau compose about purdah. but he writes about the benefits that solitude has provided him. In decision. Transcendentalism and faith portion a thing in common: both seek to happen the reply about the connexion between adult male and destiny. Transcendentalism went in a different way though.
Religion sought to Prev Page answer the connexion through a agencies of conformance. close-mindedness. and that what happens now will impact you in the following. Transcendentalism. on the other manus. and as we can see from Emerson’s Nature and Thoreau’s Walden. or Life in the Woods. advocated purdah. a intimacy with nature. and understanding that what happens to one effects another in this life. whether it be a individual or thing. Works Cited Emerson. Ralph Waldo. “Nature. ” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed.
Robert S. Levine & A ; Arnold Krupat. 7th erectile dysfunction. New York: W. W. Norton & A ; Company. 2007. 1110-11. 1118. Reuben. Paul P. “Chapter 4: American Transcendentalism ( AT ) : A Brief Introduction. ” Buddy: Positions in American Literature-A Research and Reference Guide- An Ongoing Project. 24 Feb. 2007. 16 November 2007. Thoreau. Henry David. “Walden. or Life in the Woods. ” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Robert S. Levine & A ; Arnold Krupat. 7th erectile dysfunction. New York: W. W. Norton & A ; Company. 2007. 1930-31. 1942.