Henry David Thoreau 's ' The Wilderness Of Walden Pond '

1626 Words Dec 14th, 2016 7 Pages
Though the reasons for their pilgrimages were different, transcendentalists emphasized journeys into nature. Henry David Thoreau, perhaps the most famous transcendentalist, wrote Walden on his time spent in the wilderness of Walden pond. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote Nature on his walks into the woods. Much of Emerson’s works were on intuition and self-reliance. Jeremiah Johnson is a modern movie that seemingly adopts the ideas of these transcendentalist authors into a narrative about a man who leaves civilisation for the mountain. All three characters had different stated motivations. Thoreau left to “live simply” (Thoreau). Emerson left for solitude. Though it never was stated directly, Jeremiah Johnson left to “Leave his troubles far behind”, with later hints to him being a deserter of the Mexican American War. But why is nature a staple of transcendentalism? Transcendentalism, unlike rationalism or empiricism, is founded on the belief that one can “transcend the data that we intake via our senses” using intuition (Dwinell). For Transcendentalists, nature is the path to truth, because it is there intuition rules above all.
Nature and Transcendentalism are intrinsically connected. Transcendentalism is a form of Romanticism, which emerged as a response to growing civilization and, more specifically, the Industrial Revolution. The romantics endorsed trips away from this, into the wilderness, where one could experience nature undiluted. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, for…
Open Document