The Enlightenment Thinking The Philosophical World Essay

1110 Words Oct 6th, 2015 5 Pages
The Enlightenment thinking dominated the philosophical world in the 1700s. The Enlightenment way of thinking is to use rationality to answer the age old question, what is truth? In response to this movement, a group of American people in the 1800s believed that you should use your instincts to make decisions. Besides using your instincts, Transcendentalists also wanted to create a uniquely American literature and define human existence and spirituality. The three main Transcendentalist writers are Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. A movie called Dead Poets Society was made in 1989 and it was about a school teacher in the 1950s, who taught about Transcendentalism and told his students to practice these ideals and to trust your instincts. A character in the film, Charlie Dalton took these teachings and ideas to heart. In Dead Poets Society, Charlie Dalton displays the Transcendentalist ideals stated in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience.” Through his actions, the ideas of Transcendentalism seem nice, but they are not usable in the real world. Emerson believed that a person had to use their intuition to be successful, and Charlie definitely was not afraid to do what he thought. Sometimes this allowed Charlie to grow and have a positive impact on the story, but it sometimes caused backlash. In “Self-Reliance,” Emerson heavily stressed that individuals should use their intuition to make…

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