Transcendentalism and the Hunger Games

Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Henry David Thoreau Pages: 3 (1094 words) Published: January 20, 2013
Transcendentalism and The Hunger Games

Transcendentalism is a lifestyle in which one strives to rise above and reach a level of perfection. Transcendentalists believe in self-reliance, non-conformity, individualism, simplicity, the greatness of nature, and God being within oneself. Transcendentalism is often represented in modern day pop-culture; a strong example of this is The Hunger Games. The book depicts the life of Katniss Everdeen, a character who possesses many transcendental qualities. The Hunger Games displays many transcendental values and shows that living a transcendental life is positive and will improve one’s quality of life.

Nature is a major transcendental value which both Emerson and Thoreau thrive off of. Emerson said in “Nature”, “In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows” (Emerson 182). This quote exemplifies the transcendental belief that nature is fulfilling, despite outside stress and troubles. In The Hunger Games, Katniss finds comfort and happiness in nature. She uses nature as an escape from reality and the difficulty of her life. She spends as much time as she can in the woods and values every moment that she is given the chance to embrace the tranquil qualities of nature. In the book, Katniss displays her appreciation of nature often. For example she says, “Being in the woods is rejuvenating. I’m glad for the solitude” (Collins 107). She is most comfortable and happy in the woods. Katniss is positively influenced by nature throughout the book and it helps keep her sane during the competition. Although nature is what kept Katniss sane, the government, which she hates with a passion, is what stresses her out the most in her life.

Henry David Thoreau was a major leader of the transcendental movement who wrote many essays and books displaying his beliefs and opinions. One of Thoreau’s most well-known transcendental qualities is his hatred of the government, which he writes about in...
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