American Romanticism: Utopian Communities and Transcendentalism

Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Utopia Pages: 8 (2967 words) Published: February 2, 2011
An Intricate Puzzle:
Utopian Communities and Transcendentalism


An Intricate Puzzle:
Utopian Communities and Transcendentalism
Introduction- The two American Romanticism concepts of transcendentalism and the idealism of utopian communities fit together like an intricate puzzle, but there are still many factors that differentiate them. I. Places faith in inner experience and the power of imagination a. Alike

i. Could be alone and do your job
ii. Reflections on your own experience
iii. Working with the Earth instead of other people allows easier times of reflection iv. People to achieve religious awakening by their own efforts v. Change must be within

vi. Continually renewing creative powers of the self (B-7) b. Different
vii. Had communal living so that you were around other people a lot viii. Perception changed to give individual a clarified/revitalized way of seeing the world that they had partially or imperfectly known (trans idea) ix. Not to win a place in heaven, or deny oneself in order to placate a wrathful God (trans idea) x. Advocated spirituality not simplemindedness (trans) II. Shuns the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled nature c. Alike

xi. Both wanted to be in country and plant in the Earth xii. Got away from big cities in the New England area xiii. No church
xiv. No statement of beliefs
xv. No rituals
d. Different
xvi. Communal used greenhouses and that’s not really unspoiled nature xvii. Communal failed with farming the soil of the Earth because there were too many unexperienced farmers in too small of an area xviii. They actually created a new type of civilization that was advancing in a different way. xix. List of members (utopian)

III. Champions individual freedom and the worth of the individual e. Alike
xx. Wanted each individual to be worthwhile. A rich man was not worth more than a peasant. 1. C-2 good quote/example
xxi. Ideas of peasants were just as accepted as those of the powerful xxii. Work was good for a person
xxiii. If every person were to acquire self-knowledge…(A-12) f. Different
xxiv. Lost individuality because of having to conform to ideas and working together with other people all of the time xxv. Man does everything by himself/person does one job everyday IV. Reflects on nature’s beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development g. Alike

xxvi. Get away from big cities and industry = return to nature xxvii. More reverence for the natural world than ancestors (Puritans)(A-11) xxviii. Get closer to God through nature because God created nature h. Different

xxix. Utopian created another little city
xxx. Out in undisturbed nature alone to reflect on ideas xxxi. Tanscendentalists took it to the next step (B-1) 2. Thoreau learned names and classifications…
3. Emerson mind= a part of world… (A-3 to 5)
V. Looks backward to the wisdom of the past and distrusts progress i. Alike
xxxii. Going back to before industrialized machines did more by hand xxxiii. Distrusted politics
xxxiv. Thoreau experiment- one spoon, one cup (A-5) same as utopian communities xxxv. Stay away from Manifest Destiny (A-6 to 7)
j. Different
xxxvi. Communal living becomes industrialized
xxxvii. Adoptes time schedule to get rid of slackers VI. Intuitive thought (most misunderstood concept) (C-3 & A-9) k. Alike
xxxviii. Humility allows for proper hierarchy to be est. xxxix. Appeals to ethics, conscience, and asceticism, and call for humanity xl. Simplicity ethics, grace of self-reliance brings us...

Cited: “The Brooks Farm Community” 01 Dec 2009 <http://age-of-the-s farm.html
Hurley, Jennifer A. American Romanticism. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2000
Phillips, Jerry, Ph.D., Romanticism and Transcendentalsim (1800-1860). New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2006.
Robinson, David M. Natural Life. London: Cornell University Press, 2004.
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