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The movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, & Henry David Thoreau.

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Presentation on theme: "The movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, & Henry David Thoreau."— Presentation transcript:

1 The movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, & Henry David Thoreau

2  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.

3  Rise of cities  Class systems  War  Greed

4  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.

5  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.

6  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.

7  Anti-Aristocracy  Anti-Slavery  Pro-Women’s Rights  Quest for Utopia

8  Literature was an important medium used during this movement.  Major authors: ◦ Emily Dickinson ◦ Edgar Allan Poe ◦ Ralph Waldo Emerson ◦ Henry David Thoreau

9  1803 – 1882  Born in Boston  Entered Harvard at age 14  Became a minister in 1829

10  1838 – Invited to speak at Harvard’s graduation  His remarks outraged the audience.  Said that Jesus was not God, which offended the Protestant community.

11  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).

12  Born in 1817 (Concord, Mass.)  Attended Harvard  Various occupations: ◦ Pencil maker ◦ Farmer ◦ Handyman

13  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.

14  After Walden Pond, he continued his examination of nature  Died in 1862 (age 45) after contracting a bad cold

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