Transcendentalism and Thoreau

Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Transcendentalism Pages: 3 (1024 words) Published: June 9, 2008
ranscendentalist Essay
“Live life to the fullest.” This quote by Ernest Hemingway was made after the era of transcendentalism, but I believe that the idea came from the transcendentalists. In Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, he writes “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life,” Among Transcendentalists' core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individual's intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions. They promoted ideas of self-reliance, nonconformity, and civil disobedience.

In this experiment I chose to test an idea of self-reliance by not using any form of communication other the face to face, to see if that would simplify my life. In Walden, Thoreau says that people should live life in the simplest way possible and “as long as possible live free and uncommitted.” Electronic devices such as the telephone and the internet, are making communication easier, but in turn are making life more complex. If people are limited to only being able to communicate by word of mouth, then that would give us less work to do and less stress because we are physically limited to being able to complete our tasks. In turn, this would help us become more connected to nature because we couldn’t rely on unnatural means to get our work done.

After a week of this experiment I realized that my theory did not simplify my life at all. However, it was not a failed experiment because it did what it was supposed to do, hindering my ability to work. Everyday when I get back home, I am required to call my mother to tell her that I was home safe. This experiment disallowed me the action and when I my mother got home, she reprimanded me for not calling her. That same day I had to study for a chemistry test, but I had forgotten the study guide and instead of just reading up on the important...
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