's Exposure To Transcendentalism In The Life Of Thoreau And Virginia Woolf

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Insects may the bane of some people’s existence, but the creatures are truly strong globes of energy, flitting to and fro. Thoreau and Woolf captured this essential spirit in their writing. In battle of the ants and death of moth, both writers observe other lifeforms, but the way in which they perceive the struggles vastly differs. According to an online biography, Thoreau’s exposure to Transcendentalism as well as his friend and mentor Ralf Waldo Emerson both shaped his writing to emphasize “the importance of empirical thinking and of spiritual matters over the physical world,” whereas Virginia Woolf’s parents raised her to be free-thinking, which resulted in her stream of consciousness writing style (Henry David Thoreau Biography).
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As stated in many sources online, Thoreau was born and raised alongside his three siblings in 17th century Concord, Massachusetts by his working parents. He was closest to John Jr., his oldest brother who helped Thoreau pay his way through Harvard college. As all schools, this exposed him to many different texts and a completely different atmosphere than his hometown Concord, which in turn diversifies his writing, making him able to form more concrete thoughts due to a wider exposure to a different living and study culture. The traditional professions of the time, such as law, business, and medicine, failed to hold Thoreau’s interest, and as a result he took a brief leave of absence. This is the first historical indicator that Thoreau’s had a different mind. Rather than robotically carry his way through college, he wanted to figure his mind out. Eventually Henry David Thoreau graduated and started a school with John Jr. which later closed as a result of John Jr.’s illness. His brother died soon after in Henry’s arms, traumatizing him. Death can change a person, and for Thoreau, it opened his eyed to the thrill of …show more content…
This radical idealism enabled him to focus on his writing and bypass the dreary life of the people he observed around him. YO FINISH THIS

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