Transcendentalist Essay

Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Utopia, Transcendentalism Pages: 3 (1070 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Transcendentalism fueled the idea that humans need Spirit for muse and that originality is freedom. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Roger Williams were all advocates of the right of man and the duty to one’s self as well as Nature. In each of these men, their pursuit of Utopia has brought about an individualism and a desire to do what will benefit society as a whole. Finding the Utopia, whatever or wherever it may be, is equivalent to being one with God.

Society struggles most with the temptation that is conformity, “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure” (Emerson, “Self Reliance” qtd. in Littell 366). It is easy to get lost in a world full of conformists, which is why staying true to your own self is important. Independent thinking is vital; however, not being able to hear others out leads to a closed minded individual. The whole idea is for people to be free in thought and actions, and to do what they want, and not what society beckons them to do, “imitation is suicide” (Emerson, “Self Reliance” qtd. in Littell 366). Human nature, though it is subjective, will always guide you in the right direction as long as you let it. It is a constant battle for man between being a nonconformist and a conformist because of the many temptations, such as the desire to “fit in.” It is a cruel world, and the only way to avoid society’s expectations is to learn to trust yourself and be comfortable in solitude. A profound idea of Emerson’s is to be sure of yourself, and that is how you will gain respect in a hopeless and dependent world. People tend to get lost on the way to the pursuit of the Utopia, and the result ends up creating a breed of identical individuals, “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with the perfect sweetness the independence of solitude...” (Emerson, “Self Reliance” qtd. in Littell 365). You have...
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