The Transcendental Club, By Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

1017 Words Mar 1st, 2016 5 Pages
In the nineteenth century, America was undergoing numerous changes as several historical reform movements took place, including transcendentalism, a version of European romanticism centered around the Transcendental Club. Following the example of romanticism, transcendentalists practiced a mixture of religious, philosophical, and social ideas that focused on the study of nature, intuition, feelings, and individual acts of heroism. The Transcendental Club, a group of literary leaders, used these ideas to spread transcendentalism through their own writing, and the writing of those they influenced. The members were led by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and questioned the doctrines of churches and business practices, supported the antislavery movement, valued individualism, and challenged aspects of American society. Their beliefs were shared by those they influenced, such as Walt Whitman. Although he started his writing career as a journalist, Whitman was heavily influenced by the members of the Transcendental Club, and began to imagine a career for himself as a poet. His first published collection, Leaves of Grass, was filled with transcendentalist beliefs and ideas and was hailed as a success by many. In the collection, Whitman describes issues in America and his proposed solutions, while utilizing many poetic styles, including free verse. In his book of poetry, Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman demonstrates the social values and politics during the time of the Transcendental Club. Walt…

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