Presentation on theme: "“GREAT MEN ARE THEY WHO SEE THAT SPIRITUAL IS STRONGER THAN ANY MATERIAL FORCE; THAT THOUGHTS RULE THE WORLD.” —RALPH WALDO EMERSON TRANSCENDENTALISM."— Presentation transcript:
“GREAT MEN ARE THEY WHO SEE THAT SPIRITUAL IS STRONGER THAN ANY MATERIAL FORCE; THAT THOUGHTS RULE THE WORLD.” —RALPH WALDO EMERSON TRANSCENDENTALISM
WHAT IS IT? A literary movement in the 1830’s in America that established a clear “American voice.” Emerson first expressed his philosophy in his essay “Nature.” A belief in a higher reality than that achieved by human reasoning. Suggests that every individual is capable of discovering this higher truth through intuition. 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 (beliefs and rituals) of established religion.
MAIN PRINCIPLES: Believed in living close to nature/importance of nature. Nature is the source of truth and inspiration. Taught the dignity of manual labor Advocated self-trust/ confidence Valued individuality/non-conformity/free thought Advocated self-reliance/ simplicity The physical world is a doorway to the spiritual world
MORE BELIEFS A person—not society, the church, or government—is his or her own best authority. We have a “Divine Intellect” that guides us—also called intuition. Divine Intellect will always guide us correctly If we do wrong or become bad, it is because we choose to do so
SOURCE? Idealism was a philosophy explained by the Greek philosopher Plato in the 4th century B. C. Idealists believed that true reality could be found in ideas rather than in the physical world.
LEADERS OF TRANSCENDENTALISM Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Built a cabin on land owned by Emerson in Concord, Mass. near Walden Pond - His cabin measured 10’ x 15’10’ x 15’ - He lived there, alone, for 2 years, 2 weeks and 2 days, studying nature and seeking truth
THOREAU QUOTES “ I went to 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.” “Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?
THOREAU’S INFLUENCE Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience” urged passive, non-violent resistance to governmental policies to which an individual is morally opposed. Influenced individuals such as Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez
“ IF INJUSTICE IS OF SUCH A NATURE THAT IT REQUIRES YOU TO BE AN AGENT OF INJUSTICE TO ANOTHER, THEN, I SAY, BREAK THE LAW. LET YOUR LIFE BE THE FRICTION TO STOP THE MACHINE.”
RALPH WALDO EMERSON 1803-1882 Unitarian minister Poet and essayist Founded the Transcendental Club Popular lecturer Banned from Harvard for 40 years following his Divinity School address Supporter of abolitionism
EMERSON’S OPTIMISM Optimism, or positive thinking, was an important part of Emerson’s transcendentalist view. He believed that because God is good, all natural events and experiences, even death and disaster, can be explained on a spiritual level we can know God directly through the power of our intuition by trusting our own power to know God directly, we will see that we, too, are a part of the “Divine Soul”
EMERSON QUOTES “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” “Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide.”
MARGARET FULLER 1810-1850 Journalist, critic, women ’ s rights activist First editor of The Dial, a transcendental journal First female journalist to work on a major newspaper—The New York Tribune
EMILY DICKINSON 1830-1886 Is not technically a transcendentalist, but fits in here Wrote nearly 2,000 poems in her lifetime Lived at her family home almost her entire life - Became a recluse - Was unpublished (by choice) until after her death - Wrote primarily about nature, death and love - Known for her unusual writing style (extra punctuation, slant rhyme)
YOU MIGHT BE A TRANSCENDENTALIST IF… You value nonconformity