Presentation on theme: "The movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, & Henry David Thoreau."— Presentation transcript:
The movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, & Henry David Thoreau
Takes place during the early-mid 1800s. The belief that truths about life & death can be reached by going outside the world of the senses. Focus on the relationship between man & nature. Feelings are priority over reason.
Nature was divine. Nature held the truths. To communicate & be one with nature was the epitome of “goodness.” Nature was innocence & an escape from the evils of society.
Rejection of standard beliefs of society. Inner truth is what matters most. Fulfillment comes from knowing one’s self, not wealth, gender, or education. Transcendentalism stressed individual choice and instinct above all other human impulses.
The soul is something equally available to all people. Transcendentalism viewed all aspects of life, including human life, as small and inter-related parts of God, or the Universal Mind.
Anti-Aristocracy Anti-Slavery Pro-Women’s Rights Quest for Utopia
Literature was an important medium used during this movement. Major authors: ◦ Emily Dickinson ◦ Edgar Allan Poe ◦ Ralph Waldo Emerson ◦ Henry David Thoreau
1803 – 1882 Born in Boston Entered Harvard at age 14 Became a minister in 1829
1838 – Invited to speak at Harvard’s graduation His remarks outraged the audience. Said that Jesus was not God, which offended the Protestant community.
Emerson owned the land which Thoreau built his cabin on (Walden Pond). Provided food to Thoreau, & hired him to work odd jobs. Had a falling out when Emerson told Thoreau to publish his first book. Buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA).
Born in 1817 (Concord, Mass.) Attended Harvard Various occupations: ◦ Pencil maker ◦ Farmer ◦ Handyman
Did not fit in with other young men of his time Spent time wandering the fields surrounding Concord Began his “Walden Pond experiment” on July 4, 1845 (lasted 26 months) ◦ Lived on only bare essentials ◦ Arrested for not paying taxes during this experiment (protesting against Mexican/American War) ◦ Wrote Civil Disobedience The source for all of Henry David Thoreau's books was the journal he kept from 1832 until his death in 1862.
After Walden Pond, he continued his examination of nature Died in 1862 (age 45) after contracting a bad cold