Transcendentalism in America: The Philosophical and Literary Movement

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The 1830s was a time of serious religious conflict. Many people, especially authors, had different opinions on how to find true spirituality. In the end, authors in America created Transcendentalism. Transcendentalism is a philosophical and literary movement that searches for individual truth through spiritual reflection, complete solitude, and a deep connection with nature. Because this was established by authors, many of them wrote different pieces reflecting and using the beliefs of Transcendentalism. Ralph Waldo Emerson was considered to be the father of Transcendentalism. He wrote many influential pieces that follow and emphasize major Transcendental beliefs. The major beliefs include the over-soul, nature, and senses. In addition to …show more content…

This whole would be the over-soul: humanity, nature, and God. The transparent eye does not focus on one item at a time like man sometimes does. Lastly, “I am nothing; I see all… I am part or particle of God” (3). This finalizes the ultimate connection of humanity, nature, and God. The Transcendental belief that nature was created by God supports Emerson’s idea that man—also believed to be created by God—must feel equal to nature. Emerson also uses the over-soul to compare the past and the future relationships. At one point Emerson says, “The foregoing generations beheld God and Nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?” (1). Here, Emerson is reminding humanity that people in the past had a relationship with both God and Nature. He then asks a general question hinting that he believes that man should go back to this concept. This is another way to say that humanity, nature, and God are all connected and on the same level, resulting in the over-soul. “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson uses the over-soul to show the fundamentals of the divine soul within Transcendentalism. In “Nature”, Ralph Emerson seamlessly uses elements of the nature belief to explain his opinion on the relationship between man and nature. Transcendentalism beliefs specifically address some sort of connection in nature. At one point of “Nature”, Emerson says “The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister, is the

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