“A philosophical and literary movement, centered in concord and Boston , which was prominent in the intellectual and cultural life of New England from 1836 until just before the civil war”(A handbook of literary terms, page 318).
“Transcendentalism , an idealist philosophical tendency among writers in and around Boston in the mid 19th century .Growing out of Christian Unitarian in 1830s under the influence of German and British *romanticism, transcendentalism affirmed Kant’s principles of intuitive knowledge not derived from the senses, while rejecting organized religion for an extremely individualistic celebration of the divinity in each human being”(Oxford concise dictionary of literary terms,pg-262).Emerson and Thoreau are writers during the romantic period in which they were against the age of enlightenment period of reason and logic, but they focused and were associated with transcendentalism .Both writers have strong bond and love for nature and its surroundings, both believe in individualism, on conformists and wanted to change the system of government. Therefore, Thoreau and Emerson share similar ideas like both showed their intense love for nature and its surroundings, anti consumerist, belief in individualism and wanted to change the system of government. On the contrary, both authors differs views on nature, life and perception on individualism.
Emerson believed that “each person contained a spark of divinity” and it should be found through nature or through you. Thoreau on the other hand, believed that its individual lifestyle, thought that one can be happy if you live as who you truly you are. It’s true indeed that the nature provides the basic needs, the desire for the delight and the understanding of the world. “Its beauty is the beauty of his mind. Its laws are the laws of own mind. Nature becomes to him the measure of his attainments” (Emerson, American scholar).Here Emerson, states that nature has its own beauty and one can have own laws to attain the goals and achievements. He also believed that a spark of divinity that each individual should find truth in nature as nature is pure and innocent. Thoreau, who also lived while in the woods, says that nature has great impacts on our minds. It helps to find new innovative ways to live and find that nature possess real truth.
Both Emerson and Thoreau were the firm believers and were against the anti-consumerist who exploited the nature for their own benefits and desire without taking into account the exploitation done to the nature. “We need the tonic of wilderness…..at the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things; we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us. We can never have enough of nature” (Thoreau, Walden; or, life in the woods).As, Thoreau is known to be the first environmentalist or ecologist, presented that “he embraces the wilderness of...