Transcendentalism and Johnny Cash

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Transcendentalism has been expressed through essays, TV, songs, and movies. There are many songs that could do with transcendentalism, the song I chose is “I walk the line” by Johnny Cash. Throughout the song he explains the hardships of going through life as a hard working American. Also he is explaining on how he has to support a family. To do all these things he has to walk a thin line and if he goes off track he will fail himself, his family, and all the work he has done. This song was meant to show his first wife that he would stay faithful to her while he was out on the road. This song shows transcendentalism by Johnny Cash being out expressing his feelings to his first wife Vivian. It shows the feeling of individualism even though he is writing about his wife by saying that he will stick to the right path. If you venture off the path you become another person in society. The line in which Johnny Cash walks is the path of individualism. Just like Emerson wrote, “Man is his own star” (Self-Reliance 1) to basically say everyone is themselves. “I walk the line” (Cash, Johnny) and “Man is his own star” are kind of the same in a sense. Both show a sign of individualism. Emerson’s version is saying everyone is themselves, everyone makes their own choices. Cash’s version says everyone is themselves if they walk the path of good behavior. I agree with Cash more than Emerson because Cash says that people can be themselves but they still have to abide to the laws and rules of our country. A couple of lines show that he is staying close to himself, keeping to his own ideas. At the same time he is saying that he watches out for everyone’s movement and what they are doing. By keeping to himself and living his own life is the perfect picture of transcendentalism. Cash keeps a personal view of the world. He isn’t concerned about other people’s opinions of how to live life. Cash was known as the man in black, he always did his own thing never took other peoples ways of...
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