Intro to Transcendentalism :
The American Renaissance-- The flowering of American thought in literature, poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture, and music from 1835-1880 and concentrated in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts.
The innate goodness of man, the divinity of all creation, the rejection of traditional authority, & the importance of the individual (self-reliance)
“We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds…A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which inspires all men.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Famous Transcendentalist Writers: Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau Nathaniel Hawthorne Margaret Fuller Bronson Alcott Henry Longfellow Edgar Allan Poe Louisa May Alcott Mark Twain Walt Whitman Emily Dickinson Fredrick Douglass
Tenets of Transcendentalism :
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” - Henry David Thoreau
Individualism and the goodness of man
“Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!” -- Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter “The essential nature of human beings is good and left in a state of nature, human beings would seek the good. Society is to blame for the corruption that mankind endures. Hawthorne’s juxtaposition of the red rose, the flower of nature, and the rusty, blackened prison, the “black flower” of society, exemplifies this perspective.”
“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” “Imitation is suicide.” “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” “No one can cheat you out of success but yourself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Universal soul The “Oversoul” “Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related.”
“I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.” “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man in also a prison.” -From Thoreau’s “On Civil Disobedience”
A return to Nature and Simplicity
Thoreau’s Walden Pond Location: Concord, Mass.
“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel nothing can befall me in life, -- no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground,-- my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space,--all mean egotism vanishes.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” - Henry David Thoreau
Oh it's a mystery to me. We have a greed, with which we have agreed... and you think you have to want more than you need... until you have it all, you won't be free. Society
Society, you're a crazy breed. I hope you're not lonely, without me.
When you want more than you have, you think you need... and when you think more then you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.
I think I need to find a bigger place... cause when you have more than you think, you need more space.
Society, you're a crazy breed. I hope you're not lonely, without me. Society, crazy indeed... I hope you're not lonely, without me.
There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more, but if less is more, how you keepin' score? It means for every point you make, your level drops. Kinda like you're startin' from the top... and you can't do that.
Society, you're a crazy breed. I hope you're not lonely, without me. Society, crazy indeed...I hope you're not lonely, without me
Society, have mercy on me. I hope you're not angry, if I disagree. Society, crazy indeed. I hope you're not lonely...without me. --Eddie Vedder Into the Wild