Trascendentalism and Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

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There have been countless religious rebellions throughout history, but none quite like that of Transcendentalism. At the time of the movement’s birth, newly acquired religious freedom in the United States allowed for new ideas and beliefs to blossom freely. Ideas and beliefs that the public and government previously greeted with bitter rejection. At the heart of Transcendentalism lied its most famous ambassadors, Ralph Waldo Emerson and his apprentice, Henry David Thoreau. Although Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau shared similar views and beliefs relating to Transcendentalism, the approach each author took in writing and making the ideas that were so important concrete was not always so closely related.
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Unlike Emerson, Thoreau’s ideas were often centered more on the physical effects of nature. Even though Thoreau was not as focused on the philosophical aspects of Transcendentalism, his time spent alone at Walden Pond prompted several personal religious experiences of his own. In “ The Gospel According to this Moment: Thoreau, Wildness, and American Nature Religion” Alan D. Hodder inquires, “After all, was it not part of the point of his refuge at Walden to flee the strictures of traditional faith?” (466). Thoreau left society for self-improvement reasons and his experiences alone in the wilderness could not help but to drastically affect his person belief system, even though he was not as influential in the subject as Emerson. In Walden, Thoreau points out that because society moves so quickly, they do not make time to truly appreciate the beauty and spirituality around them. For example, he uses the comparison, “The migrating buffalo, which seeks new pastures in another latitude, is not extravagant like the cow which kicks over the pail, leaps the cow-yard fence, and runs after her calf, in milking time” (934). If we live by necessity and nothing more, like the buffalo, spirituality has a greater opportunity to blossom. Thoreau and Emerson both believed that spirituality played an integral role in Transcendentalism’s

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