The Morality Of Sin And Nature

1052 words - 5 pages

Classical literature can basely be divided into several stylistical altering movements, at times contradictions of one another, that have all at once developed the jagged path that has led us into the modern age. One of the most apparent of these contradictions in stylistic and philosophical viewpoints can be seen with the emergence of Transcendentalism, then Anti-Transcendentalism, which placed several key writers in the limelight of cultural criticism to varying degrees of success. The leaders of these literary milestones, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, respectively, saw the worlds about them through entirely different lenses and thus deconstructed the fabrics of their reality to better suit these view-points. Though the movement would fall chiefly out of fashion, like with other movements before it, such as the true forms of the Romantic and Gothic movements in England, the classics remain, giving us a pattern of what, in exactly, the ideals were of both the Transcendentalist movement as well as its counter.
Unlike several other key movements of the centuries now past, the stylistic characteristics and overwhelming information about these groups, as well as their writing, allows a solid definition of each to be constructed. Transcendentalism, naturally the first of the two, was a form of idealism that revolved around man’s individualism and place within nature. God was found within the self, and the intuition was the weapon of the soul. One simply did not need to be taught, as one was already with knowing, and all one then needed to know was found within themselves. Those of this movement believed heavily in the power of nature, the spirituality and brilliance, the perfection in its form that was the expression of power and would allow the individual to better understand themselves as well as the forces that be. This first side of the movement focused on the innate goodness of all of humanity and those contained within and relied heavily upon the faith in self-reliance and independence from the machines of the established normality. Emerson farther strove to establish these ideals through not only the compelling force of his writing, but also by giving speeches, spreading the word and recruiting fellow authors of the time to adapt these methods in their writing and farther explore the world through the lenses from which he saw. Other Transcendentalist writers to which can be explored would be the works of Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Emily Dickinson.
Time did not scarcely breathe a spell before a counter ideal rose from the shadow of the parent movement, a shade that slinked up from softer roots and held purchase in the mind of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who soon crafted the movement of the Anti-Transcendentalist. Hawthorne believed that the Transcendentalism could not account for the moralistic wrongs of mankind, the nature of his sins and the inherent evil to which all men possess and are doomed to struggle...

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