Henry David Thoreau: The Grat Transcendentalist Essay

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Henry David Thoreau along with a select group of people propelled the short movement of transcendentalism during the 1830s to the 1850s and was later brought up during the Vietnam War. Many of the transcendentalist ideas came from student who attended Harvard University during this time period. Henry David Thoreau’s individualistic anarchist views on society were developed throughout his early life and later refined in his years of solitude; these views on society and government are directly expressed in much of his work.
Much of Henry David Thoreau’s work was affected by his early life and education. Henry David Thoreau was born into a normal middle class family in Concord Massachusetts on July 12, 1817. Thoreau’s family were
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These classical writers served as great inspiration for the young writer. Like many other transcendentalists “Thoreau was an avid reader of Hindu scriptures and he quotes them often in Walden”, “The Hindu and transcendentalist belief in the imminence of god leads to the doctrine that every person can, without the need for an intermediary, experience the divine within himself or herself” (Norvell 1). Thoreau captured a lot of these moral values and brought them with him throughout his life. This is a perfect comparison to Thoreau’s individualistic ideas and appeal to institution. Years after graduating Harvard, Thoreau submitted many essays to the transcendentalist magazine, the dial. These essays greatly reflected his college education in literature. Emerson’s speech at Thoreau’s graduation also was reflected in much of his essays. Thoreau was greatly impacted by this speech, from then on Emerson was a life mentor for the young writer.
During Thoreau’s life he was influenced greatly by many transcendentalists who were educated at Harvard University such as Edward Everett, William Channing, and Andre Horton. “The writings of Thoreau shaped the passive resistance methods of the civil rights movement”, says Martin Bickman of the university of Colorado. This passive resistance method was a way to
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