Transcendentalism And Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was a key member in the American transcendentalism movement. Transcendentalism, in short, was a movement that consisted of three tenets, which included celebrating the individual, using nature as a mirror of human lives, and trusting your intuition. People like Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and many others participated in this movement. Transcendentalists believed in spirituality over materials and thought that people should attempt to simplify their lives by revolving themselves with nature. They believed in individualism and were against the standards that society has set for all humans because they didn’t feel they had to abide by said norm. Those who participated in the transcendentalism …show more content…
Emerson inspired us to simplify our lives and to look to nature for guidance in the process of doing so. He incorporated the Bible in many of his literary pieces and portrayed the idea of an over-soul. Eric Wilson believed that “Nature… repeatedly echoes the Bible. Indeed, the essay can be regarded as Emerson’s attempt to make nature itself a bible… he continued to believe in God but he held that God reveals his grandeur not only in scripture, but also through nature.” (Wilson 2) He used his knowledge from the ministry and applied it to his works and teachings. He depicted God and religious beliefs as having a relatively grand part in accomplishing a simpler life. He portrayed God through nature and as this all-seeing and all-knowing creature without specifically referring to Him. Emerson believes that a purer way of living can be achieved if one uses nature to guide them through said path and that nature is one of the only way to live …show more content…
He always advised his readers to be true to themselves and to not abide by the social norm. He enforced independence and self-reliance because he wanted men and women to be able to stand on their own two feet and be able to hold their ground. In Self-Reliance, Emerson declares that “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members… The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion.” (Wiggins 369) He suggests that in order to avoid conformity, one must rely on themselves and no one else, especially not society. The community in itself consists of conformists and has set many standards and rules by which people feel the need to abide by but Emerson states that the people shouldn’t feel forced to conform. He wants men and women to feel comfortable being themselves and he states that society is one of the reasons as to why people don’t feel confident in themselves. He believes that once people start thinking about themselves and doing what they feel is best for them, then they will truly be living a happier life because they won’t feel the urge to do as they are told by the societal status

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