American Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson And Henry David Thoreau

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American Transcendentalism originated in the mid 19th century. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were great impactors for the Transcendentalist movement. Thoreau and Emerson tried to send a message about the importance of being your own individual, but society today didn’t exactly catch on. Emerson states “...Envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide...Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist...Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind” (pg 362).
With this he is trying to say if you want what others have you are forgetting what you’ve already gotten; that needing to be someone else is taking away from you. Being your own person means being unlike every single other person, embracing the qualities you possess
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Thoreau went off into the woods to escape and live life while he could, not be forced to conform to a society in which he did not believe in. Even after escaping into the woods Thoreau noticed the conformity of the people he had left behind was growing stronger. The lives of those men, women, and possibly children were lessening as the believed importance of all the insignificant trends were arising. A writer by the name of Stephen A. Wilson says there are two groups of people in the world. One group of people have a “...distinctive development of what is unique to each individual…” Those who belong to this group have an understanding of their personalities that is strong enough to self-interpret things around them (Wilson. …show more content…
With your independence you develope into a person who you are suppose to be. J.S Mill believes individuality is a necessity of a good life. The only time anyone should interfere is when the activities may injure others.
Andrew and Karen Meyers agree with Emerson and Thoreau’s views of the importance of individuality in a society that is overcome with fakers and followers of what is believed is right. The Meyers have said that transcendentalism is the belief that humans can uphold themselves to be better than their dishonesty to themselves and others around them to gain a stronger conscious mind (Meyers 34).
In a perfect world humanity would have a sense of individuality, but due to the pressures of high demanding societies we homo sapiens have been forced to conform and attempt to reach that high demand standard which is near impossible to achieve. Around the world people have made themselves unrecognizable to their true selves, they have changed their clothes, change how their face looks with contouring, and even tried to make their lips bigger with

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