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Transcendentalism Is Unrealistic In Today's Society Ap Lit Essay

655 words - 3 pages

Henry David Thoreau offered the compelling thought, “If any man does not keep
pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him
step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” When Thoreau says
this, he understands that a person who acts in an unusual way may merely have
different values than the rest of society, and by marching to their own drummer, rather
than the beat of the “accepted norm,” human beings would “find happiness and self-
fulfillment.” This is a theme of, the philosophical movement that Thoreau was a part of,
Transcendentalism. While it is a compelling thought and belief, it is unrealistic in today’s
society because it is flawed, nonconformity is an illusion, and conformity is what human
beings desire.
Thoreau stood for individualism. He desired for persons to be who they truly are
aside from the influence that society has on them. As a result, a movement was created
inspired by individualist just like Thoreau, but the flaw in this belief is not that someone
cannot march to the different drum of other persons, in fact, persons can and will march
to different drums. However, everyone is marching to the beat of another’s drum. The
desire for persons to be an individual was spread by a part of society inclined to
conform to the ideology of individualism. The flaw being discussed is based on the idea
that persons can not conform to some part of their environment. When in reality,
everyone is following a drum therefore ensuring conformity of some kind. While many
agree with Thoreau’s suggestion of being our truest self, it is still flawed. Conformity is
inevitable, and nonconformity is a glamorous myth. Even for the persons who rise
against the bully, or stand for their beliefs, or run for cancer, or sacrifice themselves for
another, they are are following the beat of another’s drum who have done all of these...

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