Transcendentalism : An Philosophical And Literary Movement Essay

1425 Words May 13th, 2016 6 Pages
Transcendentalism is known as the philosophical and literary movement that protests the general state of culture and society. It is a way of life that focuses on themes of spirituality and nature while going against materialism and the rest of humanity. Two of the most well-known transcendentalists are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and several transcendentalist ideas develop from them. One person in particular who follows these notions is a young traveler named Christopher Johnson McCandless – the main character in Jon Krakauer’s nonfictional text Into the Wild. The way Chris McCandless acts throughout his life was a lot like these transcendentalists. McCandless travels throughout North America, following three main transcendentalist morals: a minimalist lifestyle, a disconnection from society, and a devotion to both God and nature.
A minimalist lifestyle is a harsh way of living by getting rid of everything except for the fundamental needs. Living this way is crucial to becoming a transcendentalist in order to obtain connection with spirituality and nature. In Henry David Thoreau’s, ‘Walden’, he states, “I [Thoreau] went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” (Thoreau 30). Thoreau is saying here that transcendentalists are nonconformists and that they do not like society or materialism; and this…

Related Documents