Transcendentalism; Positive or Negative Essay

941 WordsJun 5, 20144 Pages
Melanie Milam Honors English II Mrs. Nelson 2 April 2014 Transcendentalism; Positive or Negative Transcendentalism is a social and philosophical movement that taught five tenets of how to live life. Those tenets being; Everything reflects the divine soul, God is in nature and man, use your intuition to relate to God and nature, be self-reliant and express your individualism, and be spontaneous and seize the day. Thoreau and Emerson reflect all of these tenets in their poems, and they’re shown in the character Mr. Keating in the movie Dead Poets Society. He teaches the kids at this school all about transcendentalism in English class, and throughout the movie you see the positive and negative effects of his teachings.…show more content…
Keating is trying to show the boys that they need to see life in their own perspective and do what they want to do instead of conforming to what everyone else is doing. Charlie, one of Mr. Keating’s students, takes he’s advice a little too far. He starts putting read lines on his face, drinking, smoking, and bringing girls to their meetings. He makes the biggest change out of all the boys, and ends up getting expelled from school. On the contrary, Neal takes his advice and actually goes out, seizes the day, and live how he really wants to live. Sadly, this leads to a negative effect even though it starts out positive. Neal commits suicide since his father’s pressure doesn’t allow him to break from the conformity of society. Emerson says “Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide” and Neal proves this is true. If Neal could break away from the conformity of society he would become a better him, and had been able to live a life instead of take his away. One of the most famous quotes that Emerson says is “to be great is to be misunderstood.” Although some people may not get what your opinion is that makes you better because you’re not like everyone else. Today has much less transcendentalism because now a days, mostly teens, are afraid to speak out against the commons since we all just want to get by and not draw attention like that to ourselves. We’re all afraid of being judged by other people for what we really believe, even if
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