Essay on Transcendentalism vs. Anti-Transcendentalism

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In the mid-1830s, Ralph Waldo Emerson created a belief called Transcendentalism. He wrote the essay, “Self Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau, another Transcendentalist wrote an essay called, “Walden.” Both works of literature focus on the Transcendentalism belief. In “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne reveals both Transcendentalism and Anti-Transcendentalism through the attitudes of the characters. Therefore, “The Minister’s Black Veil” can be compared and contrasted with both “Self Reliance” and “Walden.” During the 1830s and 1840s, Transcendentalism was influenced mostly by Ralph Waldo Emerson. When the idea was first created, Emerson and a small group of people got together to discuss philosophy, religion,…show more content…
Emerson also says, “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance: that imitation is suicide…” (242). Here, Emerson does not believe in conformity. He also states, “To be great is to be misunderstood…” (242). This quote means that people with new ideas are often not understood by the general public. Emerson’s quote compares to Parson Hooper because Hooper was a good clergyman; however, he was misunderstood because he wore the black veil. In Thoreau’s essay, “Walden,” he explains the belief of connecting spirituality with nature. He says that one should think freely, learning to understanding more and being able to make further conclusions about life. “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer” (258). Parson Hooper heard “a different drummer” and followed his own way of life. The minister did not want to be like his congregation, he wanted to be his own person. Therefore, Parson Hooper was in fact a Transcendentalist. Parson Hooper’s congregation was all alike. They thought that their minister was strange for wearing a black veil over his face. All of the people in the society were all similar to each other, there were no differences. However, they felt uncomfortable when they saw Parson Hooper just because of his black veil. They believed in conformity and

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