Presentation on theme: "American Transcendentalism “ It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, always do what you are afraid to do.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson."— Presentation transcript:
American Transcendentalism “ It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, always do what you are afraid to do.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Transcendentalism Emerson first expressed his philosophy in his essay “Nature”. Transcendentalism was a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early-to mid-19th century.literaturereligionculturephilosophy Though the transcendental movement was relatively short, its influence on the American culture is vast
The First Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson Margaret Fuller Henry David Thoreau Bronson Alcott
Core Beliefs 1.Human senses are limited; they convey knowledge of the physical world, but deeper truths can be grasped only through intuition (gut feeling). 2.The observation of nature shows the truth about human beings. 3.God, nature, and humanity are united in a shared universal soul, or Over-Soul. 4.No political or religious institution is as powerful or important as the individual.
1. Human senses are limited; they convey knowledge of the physical world, but deeper truths can be grasped only through intuition (gut feeling). “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” “Most of the luxuries and many of the so- called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”
2. God, nature, and humanity are united in a shared universal soul, or Over-Soul. Unlike Puritans, they saw humans and nature as possessing an innate goodness. “In the faces of men and women, I see God” -Walt Whitman Opposed strict ritualism and dogma of established religion.
3. No political or religious institution is as powerful or important as the individual. “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation in suicide…” “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think…” “…to be great is to be misunderstood ” “Self- Reliance”-- Emerson
“How deep the ruts of tradition and conformity.”
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”
4. The observation of nature shows the truth about human beings. --Thoreau Thoreau began “essential” living Built a cabin on land owned to Emerson in Concord, Mass. near Walden Pond Lived alone there for two years studying nature and seeking truth within himself
“I went into 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 has to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
“Still we live meanly like ants.” “Our life is frittered away by detail.” “Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?” “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. I say, let your affairs be as two or three and not a hundred or a thousand.”
“Civil Disobedience”--Thoreau Thoreau’s essay urging passive, non-violent resistance to governmental policies to which an individual is morally opposed. Influenced individuals such a Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez.
“[If injustice] is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be the friction to stop the machine.”
Binder Tabs 1.Notes 2.Research 3.EOCT and SAT Prep 4.Vocabulary and Homework 5.Graded Papers