An Inquiry On Transcendentalism Essay

817 words - 4 pages

There have been many philosophies guiding a man’s consciousness throughout the rugged trek of the modern world. Philosophies exist because man is weak; without certain guidance a man struggles to comprehend his conscious decisions of morality and success without a constant to compare it to. Transcendentalism being one of these philosophies transformed the common mindset to a whole new level, and redefined what success truly was to an individual. Inquiring discreetly on the topic of Transcendentalism, the aspects of the philosophy, the adaptability of it, and the evidence of its popularity today, all show the lasting and timely affect the mindset has had on society.
Transcendentalism’s original creator was Ralph Waldo Emerson, who strived to challenge the traditional thoughts and values acceptable at the time, namely Christianity for the mindset would be created around the time of the Second Great Awakening in America. Traditionally people were told to fit a mold in their life and follow through with it to the glory to a sovereign source. This was drastically different from the movement of Transcendentalism, for while the focus of the common thought was to focus ones goals to a higher source, Transcendentalism’s focus stressed the importance of individualism, and self-servitude. While this may have sounded radical, and selfish to some, the importance of the individualism stressed was to promote self-realization, to focus one’s mind on thinking on who a person really was, what their successes were, and what was morally objective to them, which led to one of the pitfalls of Transcendentalism with the concept of an objective success. While every aspect of thought was told to be different and unique, and to non-conform to the traditional idea, the problem of that was if people were left to decide what qualified as “successful” to them, the world can have a society of lazy Transcendentalist (which would be present in the sixties and seventies).
The radical new idea of non-conformity that Transcendentalism promoted appealed to many audiences. The main audience affected by the movement was the “misfits”, those who didn’t quite fit in with society, whether be economic or social reasons. The new idea of non-conformity was in fact very attractive to those who simply did not conform to society. If a person already did not seem to be able to adapt to the lifestyle others promoted, why should they do...

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