Charlie Dalton's Use Of Transcendentalism In Civil Disobedience

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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 …show more content…
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 …show more content…
He matured as a person through Mr. Keating’s teachings, but he is expelled from Welton because of his belief in Transcendentalist ideals. Dead Poets Society shows that even though students learn something very meaningful, they don’t have to apply it in their daily lives. Students today learn about slavery and how impactful it was on the world. However, they definitely should not use it for their own benefit. Our society should have the freedom to teach important, inspiring, and meaningful subjects and ideas, but we should have the common sense to know where to draw the line and when it is alright to implement these ideas into our

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