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Transcendentalism Hannah Bredl, Mike Diana, Joe McFarland, and Cody Siegfried.

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Presentation on theme: "Transcendentalism Hannah Bredl, Mike Diana, Joe McFarland, and Cody Siegfried."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transcendentalism Hannah Bredl, Mike Diana, Joe McFarland, and Cody Siegfried

2 What is it? It was a mid-nineteenth century movement of literature and philosophy ( ). It was a mid-nineteenth century movement of literature and philosophy ( ). It was a belief of a spiritual state that “transcends” the physical and the empirical that can be realized by the individual It was a belief of a spiritual state that “transcends” the physical and the empirical that can be realized by the individual Transcendentalists believed in self-reliance, self- culture, and self-discipline. Transcendentalists believed in self-reliance, self- culture, and self-discipline. Transcendentalism caused changes in literature and sparked social reform. Transcendentalism caused changes in literature and sparked social reform.

3 How did it start? American transcendentalism has its roots in New England, specifically Boston, Massachusetts (called “the Athens of America”). American transcendentalism has its roots in New England, specifically Boston, Massachusetts (called “the Athens of America”). Transcendentalists were influenced by Immanuel Kant, German transcendentalism, Asian religious scriptures, and Platonism and Neo-Platonism. Transcendentalists were influenced by Immanuel Kant, German transcendentalism, Asian religious scriptures, and Platonism and Neo-Platonism. They disagreed with Unitarianism and John Locke’s theory that knowledge comes to the mind from the senses. They disagreed with Unitarianism and John Locke’s theory that knowledge comes to the mind from the senses.

4 Theories Truth goes beyond the senses and cannot be found by observation alone. Everyone is capable of finding the truth and can be put in direct touch with god (oversoul) without scholars or ministers for interpretation. Truth goes beyond the senses and cannot be found by observation alone. Everyone is capable of finding the truth and can be put in direct touch with god (oversoul) without scholars or ministers for interpretation. This idea of inner light is borrowed from the Quakers. This idea of inner light is borrowed from the Quakers. Yet even though transcendentalism generally believed the same things, each person had different ideas and beliefs that separated them from one another. Yet even though transcendentalism generally believed the same things, each person had different ideas and beliefs that separated them from one another.

5 Famous Transcendentalists Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Walt Whitman Margaret Fuller

6 Transcendentalism is defined as any philosophy based upon the doctrine that the principles of reality are to be discovered by the study of the process of thought, or a philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical Transcendentalism is defined as any philosophy based upon the doctrine that the principles of reality are to be discovered by the study of the process of thought, or a philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical All that means is that whatever they were rebelling for they saw what was going on around them and made that be what they wanted to be different from All that means is that whatever they were rebelling for they saw what was going on around them and made that be what they wanted to be different from Definition

7 Romanticism Romanticism is defined as an artistic style emphasizing imagination and emotion Romanticism is defined as an artistic style emphasizing imagination and emotion What’s the difference ? What’s the difference ?

8 Relationship Romanticism Romanticism Viewed nature as perfect and man as flawed Viewed nature as perfect and man as flawed Focused on self more Focused on self more Transcendentalism Transcendentalism Viewed nature as symbolic and that nature provided answers about virtue and wisdom Viewed nature as symbolic and that nature provided answers about virtue and wisdom Believed the individual was the ultimate spiritual being that you can derive all truth and knowledge from. Believed the individual was the ultimate spiritual being that you can derive all truth and knowledge from.

9 Relationship cont. Romanticism Romanticism Value of emotion(stories to be felt by the reader and inspire them) Value of emotion(stories to be felt by the reader and inspire them) Nature is a living mystery (not like clockwork like rationalists) Nature is a living mystery (not like clockwork like rationalists) Transcendentalism Transcendentalism God is the compilation of all individual souls on Earth that when you die, your soul transcends too God is the compilation of all individual souls on Earth that when you die, your soul transcends too

10 What Impact did Transcendentalism Have on America?

11 "Without Emerson and Thoreau," notes Professor Ashton Nichols, "the United States would not have developed into the nation it has become. We would not believe in the power of the individual to the extent that we do, nor would we see nature at the center of one view of the American psyche.”

12 The extraordinary members of this informal movement provided intellectual and moral leadership for not only art, and literary transformations but greatly in social transformations in America. The influence of their ideas continues today in many aspects of our culture, from efforts to preserve wild nature to civil disobedience around the world.

13  Transcendentalism was cause of…. › Classrooms becoming a vibrant and even pleasurable experience.  Class rooms would still be a very strict place  No type of recess for younger kids  If you had any sort of trouble there was no extra help which is why school was so difficult.. Established slavery as morally wrong Established slavery as morally wrong › With out these ideas its possible slavery wouldn’t had been abolished until later years

14  Transcendentalism was cause of…. › Women's rights  As for women, this movement was very important for their equal rights › Certain theologies › Love for nature  Which is good to keep a love for nature but also gave way to tree huggers.

15  Transcendentalism was cause of…. › Ability to discover personal truths  The source of our distinctly American way of experiencing ourselves  Transcendentalism brought a feeling of focusing on oneself and learning about yourself  Confidence in our value as individuals

16 Walt Whitman Born – May 31, 1819 Long Island New York Neither of his parents read his poetry Forced to drop out of school at age 9 to support his family Read a lot mainly Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare Age 17 was a teacher (1836) 1841 he was a journalist Editor for newspapers in Brooklyn and New Orleans 1850 he created a new kind of poetry Got inspiration from music Died in 1892

17 Whitman’s Famous Poems “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” “O captain! My Captain!” (1866) “O captain! My Captain!” (1866) “A Noiseless Patient Spider” “A Noiseless Patient Spider” “Leaves of Grass” “Leaves of Grass” “Song of Myself” “Song of Myself”

18 Ralph Waldo Emerson Born Boston 1803 Grew up in Boston, and went to Harvard Class poet at Harvard Friends with Napoleon's Nephew Was a teacher at a Women’s school Originally a minister, but left for his love of writing Toured Europe Considered a essayist, philosopher, and poet Died in 1882

19 Emerson’s Works “Nature” “Nature” “The American Scholar” – 1837 “The American Scholar” – 1837 His many Representative Men His many Representative Men “The Naturalist” “The Naturalist” The Lord’s Supper The Lord’s Supper “Bacchus” “Bacchus” “Merlin” “Merlin”

20 Sarah Margaret Fuller Born: 1810 Cambridgeport MA Very good education for a girl at her time Best read person in New England Journalist and translator Knew Latin Looked up to her father Tought at Temple School in Boston Editor of The Dial Emerson’s journal Literary Critic for the New York Tribune Sent to Europe for the Tribune Died 1850

21 Fuller’s Works Summer on the Lakes Summer on the Lakes Woman in the Nineteenth Centruy Woman in the Nineteenth Centruy Papers on Literature and Art Papers on Literature and Art

22 Bronson Alcott Born: 1799 Wolcott CT Philosopher, teacher, reformer Self- Educated Was a peddler in the south Established many schools for Children Influenced by Johann H. Pestalozzi, and Socrates Had to close his schools Sold them to rid him of debt Fan of “Utopian” Communities Father of Louisa May Alcott In debt a lot Died 1888

23 Alcott’s Works Wrote for Emerson’s The Dial Wrote for Emerson’s The Dial “Orphic Sayings” “Orphic Sayings” Fruitlands- his utopian community Fruitlands- his utopian community

24 Henry David Thoreau Born: 1817 Concord MA Author, poet, naturalist, philosopher Leading Transcendentalist Studied at Harvard Doesn’t have a diploma from Harvard Wrote about nature and being in nature Lived by himself in a cabin at Walden Pond to be in nature Went against the grain, anarchist Died 1862

25 Thoreau’s Works Walden or Life in the Woods Walden or Life in the Woods Excursions Excursions “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” 1849 “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” 1849 “Paradise Regained” – 1843 “Paradise Regained” – 1843 “Slavery in Massachusetts” “Slavery in Massachusetts” “Walking” – 1861 “Walking” – 1861 …. To name a few …. To name a few

26 Works Cited "Bronson Alcott." Encyclopædia Britannica Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 16 May “Henry David Thoreau.” American History. ABC-CLIO, Web. 23 Mar Kennedy, David M, Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas Bailey. “Trumpeters of Transcendentalism.” The American Pageant. 14th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Print. “Margaret Fuller.” American History. ABC-CLIO, Web. 23 Mar “New England Renaissance.” American History. ABC-CLIO, Web. 23 Mar “Ralph Waldo Emerson.” American History. ABC-CLIO, Web. 23 Mar Seckinger, Ernie. “American Transcendentalism.” Windstream. The Thoreau Society, 29 June Web. 22 Mar “Transcendentalism.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition, n.d. Web. 22 Mar “Transcendentalism.” Transcendentalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May “Walt Whitman.” American Poems. Gunnar Bengtsson, n.d. Web. 28 Apr

27 Quiz 1. What do transcendentalists believe? 1. What do transcendentalists believe? 2. Who influenced the transcendentalists? 2. Who influenced the transcendentalists? 3. Name one of the most famous transcendentalists. 3. Name one of the most famous transcendentalists. 4. True or false…. Transcendentalists liked to be one with nature? 4. True or false…. Transcendentalists liked to be one with nature?

28 Answers 1. They believe the truth can transcend through reflection and observation 1. They believe the truth can transcend through reflection and observation 2. Germans like Immanuel Kant and religions of Asia 2. Germans like Immanuel Kant and religions of Asia 3. Henry David Thoreau (but answers may vary) 3. Henry David Thoreau (but answers may vary) 4. True! 4. True!


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