Transcendentalism, By Henry David Thoreau And Walt Whitman Essay

836 Words Dec 9th, 2015 4 Pages
Transcendentalism is a literary and philosophical movement that is considered a branch of Romanticism. The term focuses on the idea that truth is reveal to us thorough our own reason. This movement developed in the late 1820s in reaction to the general sate of intellectualism and spirituality. Two popular authors during the transcendentalist era were Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. Walden by Thoreau and “Song of Myself” by Whitman are influential pieces of literature written during the transcendentalist movement. In these texts, transcendentalism is expressed through the use of an individual connection with nature and a celebration of existence. Walden by Henry David Thoreau was first published in 1854. Thoreau’s book is considered a spiritual autobiography as it details his own experience living in a cabin in the woods. Thoreau went to live in the woods because he wanted to live with a purpose. He writes, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary” (Thoreau 1028). Thoreau is afraid of not fully living life. He is worried that his life is preoccupied with frivolous things. This is why Thoreau decides to live in nature; he wishes to live his life with a purpose and…

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