This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Transcendentalist Utopia Essay

1265 words - 6 pages

Of the scores of utopian concepts within the 1800’s, most remarkable of the influx was the birth of Transcendentalism. The roots of their religious philosophy extend much farther back into American history, but in essence, rests in the context of Unitarianism. It’s origins also reach overseas to Romanticism, from which they drew inspiration from. Transcendentalism was an important movement that shaped the course of American literature, it’s assertions commonly taking shape in novels, poems, short stories, and essays, the most famous of authors including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalists sought for their sentiments to be present in the United States, to redefine man in response to the changing context of America. Since it’s emergence in the 1820’s, Transcendentalism had lasting religious, social, and political implications on the order of society.
Unitarianism had developed as a branch of the liberal wing of Christianity, which had separated from the Orthodox Christianity during the First Great Awakening. Unitarians value the “hallmarks of Christian Enlightenment”, and it’s philosophy “stressed the importance of voluntary ethical conduct”(Emergence of Transcendentalism). Yet, the Transcendentalists felt something was absent in Unitarianism; the “sobriety, mildness, and calm rationalism,” failed to satisfy the Transcendentalists whom “yearned for a more intense spiritual experience” (Emergence of Transcendentalism). For Transcendentalists, realization was that finding god depended on neither orthodox beliefs, nor the exercise of virtue, but that “God, nature, and [man] all harmoniously coincide within the same boundaries” (Transcendentalist Effects on Society). They argued for a belief in higher reality as means for discovering one’s true inner self and looking for the essence of god in nature. Objects in nature are all “equally divine,” and one can “experience direct contact with divinity,” from a simple “walk in the woods” (Emergence of Transcendentalism).
Transcendentalists paid much of their efforts to trump the conformity society requires. In other words, the Transcendentalist utopia portrayed a society of individuals who were self-reliant. They have absolute confidence that if an individual “advances confidently in the direction of dreams,” he will be greeted with unexpected success (Thoreau, 313). Transcendentalists believe that nothing is more “sacred but the integrity of [one’s] own mind” (Emerson, 4). Man should not meander from his own path to another; “envy is ignorance,” and “imitation is suicide” (Emerson, 2). With an “adopted talent of another[,] [one] has only....half [a] possession.” (Emerson, 18). It is remarkably “easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion,” but the great man is “he who...keeps with the perfect sweetness of independence” (Emerson, 5). So many people die before their body does, as if they absentmindedly predetermine their lives without giving it as much as a second...

Find Another Essay On Transcendentalist Utopia

Emily Dickinson Essay

1660 words - 7 pages some 2,000 gem-like poems in her bedroom on the second floor of her family home here, across the street from Amherst College."(Clayton, page 1 of 3) Emily stopped attending church because she believed that you did not need to go church to be with God, but to be with God in nature. Soon, Emily was showing many signs that she had become a transcendentalist. A transcendentalist's view of the world was that everything and everyone was a

Huxley's Happiness Essay

1103 words - 4 pages the aforementioned quote of Mond's. This is when the savage starts to see what it took to make the "Utopia" of civilized society. The savage in disgust says,"Art, science -- you seem to have paid a fairly high price for your happiness."(Huxley Statements like these coming from the "hero" of the story show just how concerned Huxley was for society. In addition they divulge a more in-depth explanation of Huxley's true happiness, by showing ideas he

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will

Evaluation of School Improvement

1403 words - 6 pages The evaluation process should be progressive to incorporate overall planning, implement changes, which contribute to success. In order to focus on school climate and norms, the evaluation design must include the students, instructions, and outcomes to improve communication and building-level concerns to be address in this response. School Climate and Social Norms The school principal, other staff leaders, and personnel set the tone and the

Case Study: The Benefits of Animal Testing

1757 words - 7 pages Nine year old Amy has already had a rough start in life. She was born with an abnormal heart that hinders her everyday activities. Amy is unable to keep up with kids her own age because she often tires out easily. As a consequence, she has very little friends and is often alone. Amy is forced to take different medications everyday just to survive. Amy’s life consists of medicine, doctors, and constant hospital visits. However, Amy is due for a

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Whether Or Not Transcendentalism Is Relevant To Modern Day Society

604 words - 2 pages Some aspects of Transcendentalism can be applied in today's society, while others have lost their relevance due to the changes of social and economic conditions since the time of Thoreau. The Transcendentalists' goal was to create a Utopia in America. They believed in a society without rules in which you would be free to do whatever you wanted as long as it did not infringe on the freedom or well-being of others. The concept of what is a Utopia

Transcendentalism, It's Beliefs And History, Including Information On Thoreau And Emerson, Including Quotes

603 words - 2 pages , but failed. Their ideas were excellent, and their motives pure, but people could not live up to the expectations of a transcendentalist society. They were very nature-oriented, spiritual, peaceful, hopeful people. They wanted mankind to be in harmony with the environment. They attempted to create utopias, where all was at peace. Now, the more I have learned about transcendentalism, the more I want to follow in their footsteps. It's then that

The Morality Of Sin And Nature

1052 words - 5 pages , 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

Difference Between Romanticism And Transendinlalism In American And British Writers

2672 words - 11 pages blossom. Transcendentalism—though inspired by German and British Romanticism—was a distinctly American movement in that it was tied into notions of American individualism. In addition to the theme of American democracy, transcendentalist literature also promotes the idea of nature as divine and the human soul as inherently wise. Transcendentalism also had a political dimension, and writers such as Thoreau put their transcendentalist beliefs into