New England Transcedentalsim

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a nineteenth-century transcendentalism author. Self-reliance and independence were ideas that were highly valued by him as well as other transcendentalist authors of his time. The transcendentalist believed in non-conformity and a belief that nature was an influential aspect of peoples life. They believed in an Oversoul that everything was a part of; from humans to plants to everything on the earth. They believed that when you died you became part of nature with everything else. Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau were prominent authors from the nineteenth century. They may or may disciples" of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson led an intellectual movement that somehow affected most the writers of the New England Renaissance. He believed that human senses could only perceive reality. He thought that, only though intuition not through the senses, the fundamental truths of the human beings and the universe could be reached. The transcendentalist believed that the human spirit was reflected in nature and focused there attention on nature. He also believed in non-conformity and self-reliance. The next excerpt from "Self-Reliance" shows his transcendentalist belief in non-conformity and self-reliance: "Society is a joint-stock company in which members agree for the better securing of his bread to each share holder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realties and creators, but names and customs." Emerson also had the belief that nature was spiritually linked with the humanity. This excerpt from "Nature" shows this belief: "Yet it is certain that the power to produce delight does not reside in nature, but in man, or the harmony of both.......Nature always wears the color of the spirit." The center of their beliefs revolved around the idea that God, nature, and human beings were united in a shared soul or Over-Soul. The following excerpt from "Nature" shows his belief in the Over-Soul: "I am a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me...." Ralph Waldo Emerson was the leader of the Transcendentalist movement, believing in: non-conformity, self-reliance, humans spiritual connection to nature and the over-Soul. Henry David Thoreau was a spiritual disciple of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was as much as transcendentalist as Emerson. He believed in humanity being spiritually linked to nature. This excerpt from "Walden" shows his belief: "Wherever I sat, there I might live, and the landscape radiated from me accordingly....." He also believed in also believed in the Over-Soul as shown in this excerpt from "Walden": "The winds which passed over my dwelling were such as sweep over the ridges of mountains, bearing the broken strains, or celestial parts only, of terrestrial music. In this following excerpt from "Civil Disobedience" Thoreau shows his belief in non-conformity: "That government that is best which governs least....That government which is best governs not at all." In this next excerpt from "Civil Disobedience" he show his belief in self-reliance: "Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect." Henry David Thoreau believed in all the transcendentalist believes as Ralph Waldo Emerson: humans are spiritually linked to humans, there is an Over-Soul, non-conformity, and self-reliance, which lead to the assumption that Henry David Thoureau is a spiritual disciple of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Unlike Henry David Thoureau, Emily Dickinson was not really a spiritual disciple of Ralph Waldo Emerson. She believed in some of the beliefs of Emerson and Thoreau but not others. Dickinson had a unique style unlike any other author of her time. Her poems didn't show that she believed in nature being linked to the human spirit. Instead she implies that nature has a potential for evil, as shown in this excerpt from "A narrow Fellow in the Grass": "But never met this Fellow/ Attended, or alone/Without a tighter breathing/And Zero at the bone." She doesn't show that she has a belief in the Over-Soul. Unlike transcendentalist beliefs, Dickinson believes that humanity's spirituality is self-sufficient. This is shown in the following excerpt from "How happy is the little Stone": "How happy is the little Stone/ That rambles in the Road alone/ And doesn't care about Careers/ And exigencies never fears-" Agreeing with the transcendentalist beliefs, Dickinson believes in non-conformity, as shown in the following poem by Dickinson: "There is a solitude of space/ A solitude of space/ A solitude of death, but these/ society shall be/ Compared with that profounder site/ That polar privacy/ A soul admitted to itself-/ Finite Infinity." Also like the transcendentalist she believed in intuitiveness being the key to fundamental truths. The following except from "I never saw a Moor-" shows this: "I never saw a Moor-/ I never saw the sea-/ but I know how the Heather looks/ And what a Billow be." Even though Emily Dickinson was not a transcendentalist like Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson, they were hints of some transcendentalist beliefs in her work. In terms of being "spiritual disciples" of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau was and Emily Dickinson wasn't really, although she had some of aspects of their belief in her work. Emerson and Thoreau believed in a spiritual link between nature and humanity, self-reliance, non-conformity, intuitiveness being the key to fundamental truths, and belief in an Over-Soul. Emily Dickinson did not believe in the link between humanity and nature or belief in the Over-Soul, but she believed in non-conformity, self reliance, and intuition being a key to fundamental beliefs, which lead to the conclusion that Dickinson was not a disciple of Emerson, while Thoreau was.

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