Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Transcendentalism Pages: 2 (679 words) Published: December 1, 2012
A Modern Day Transcendentalist

The story of Chris McCandless is an inspiring one. Transcendentalism is the act of finding inner peace and relaxing. David Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson are two authors who are transcendentalists. The idea of transcendentalism was started in America in the 1850’s. Chris McCandless is a college student who decides to become a transcendentalist. Chris McCandless is an example of a modern day transcendentalist because he fits the ideals of Walden, Self Reliance, and Civil Disobedience. One of the big ideas of Walden is that a person needs to separate himself from society to inner peace. Thoreau writes “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.” Chris McCandless fits this idea because he goes into the woods to find inner peace after college along with other adventures in the desert and Denali National Park. Another big idea of Walden is a person only needs to live with the essentials. Thoreau writes “… to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.” Chris McCandless fits this idea because he only brings a backpack, a gun, a bag of rice, and a sleeping bag into the woods. Nature has a lot to teach is also a big idea of Walden. Thoreau writes “…and see if I could not learn what it had to teach.” Chris McCandless fits this idea because he learns a lot of survival techniques while in nature and he lives and dies while in nature. One of the big ideas in Self Reliance is trust yourself. Emerson writes “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” Chris McCandless fits this idea because whenever he is offered help he declines it. Another big idea of Self Reliance is do not be afraid to be different and do not conform to others standards. Emerson writes “Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” Chris McCandless fits this idea because he does not care what other people think about him and he did not conform to others...
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