Transcendentalism Essay Research Paper Cami Foy 112898American

Transcendentalism Essay, Research Paper

Cami Foy


American Studies

Per. 2 and 3

Essay on Transcendentalism

When told the simple phrase of ?Men have become tools of their tools?(Henry Thoreau, Deep thoughts) I realized that men have become machines by conforming to society and forgetting the important things in life. Thinking of this I also thought about the meaning of life and my thoughts drifted towards transcendentalism, which to me is seeing people and things for what they really are, and not what they appear to be. Although many believe transcendentalism is a complex way of life and a complete change in everyday habits this state of clarity can be easily reached through individualism, self reliance, and, simplicity.

Individualism is a unique way of approaching transcendentalism. As kids we are our own person without a care in the world except to be able to go outside and play, but as we grow older staring at the most amazing things just isn?t what it used to be. We get dragged into the technological world and are taught to conform to our society until we aren?t ourselves, but part of another statistic. ?Do not speak for other men; speak for yourself?(Henry Thoreau, Deep Thoughts). This simple phrase tells me that I shouldn?t say what society says is right, but say what I feel is right. Individualism to me has a very special insight to transcendentalism because being yourself in today?s world is the only thing that will keep me on my feet and, in touch with my surroundings.

Another important point to transcendentalism is self-reliance. Self-reliance to me is something the whole human race needs. Relying on people and things is not a healthy way to be because I?ll never know when I might be left without anything or anybody but me. Depending on myself has made me an independent person that is ready for the world for better or for worse I never will know what the world had to offer me tomorrow the possibilities are endless. Being self reliant is also a way that I stay in tuned with nature and all of the blessings it gives me. ?I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion? (Henry Thoreau, Deep Thoughts). By these words Henry Thoreau is saying that to be self reliant I may have to be uncomfortable but at least I will be following my own drummer, and depending on me and me only.

Simplicity is the most important thing when associating with transcendentalism. By simplifying I have made my life a lot more calm and collected. Simplifying could be anything from small to great depending on what it is being simplified. Throughout the years my thoughts on simplifying my life have grown and after looking at myself from a broad point of view I find that maybe my life needs a lot more control by me and not others. ?The towns poor seem to live the most independent lives? (Henry Thoreau, Deep Thoughts). I don?t think of the word poor in this quote as somebody unhappy or somebody that doesn?t have anything but, I think of the word as simple. For being poor doesn?t necessarily mean bad for being rich and powerful there is a lot to be responsible to for example our own president leads the least independent life for everyone knows of his dealings. ?The gain is apparent; the tax is certain? (Ralph Emerson, Compensation). No one realizes the out come of situations. When acting I always try to think of the consequences but, sometimes the consequence is different from what it appears to be but no matter what its always there. To simplify life I try to do and make the best of what I have.

Although many people believe transcendentalism is a complex way of life and a complete change in everyday habits this state of clarity can be easily reached through individualism, self reliance and, simplicity. ?Every secret is told, every crime is punished, and every virtue is rewarded? (Ralph Emerson, Compensation). Ralph Emerson tells me through this quote that no matter what I can?t expect to get away with anything good or bad even if I committed a crime and didn?t get caught my own guilt would probably be enough punishment. My views on transcendentalism are like an open sky waiting to be defined with the creatures of nature and the miraculous sun. Transcendentalism means to me getting to know who I am and what am I here for. Transcendentalism also turns my thoughts toward appreciating what I have and making the best of it by simplifying as well as being who I am and relying on myself.


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