Transcendtalism Vs Transcendentalism

Decent Essays
One of the biggest problems society faces today is racism. In a Transcendental society, racism wouldn’t exist because they believe we all contain God within us, and therefore are equal and divine beings, worthy of each other’s respect. Transcendentalists also believe we should be independent in thought. The reasoning for which was stated in 1841, by a founding member of the Transcendentalist movement Ralph Waldo Emerson when he wrote, “Envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide,” (Emerson, ) in his famous essay Self Reliance. His friend and follower Thoreau said in chapter 18 of his book Walden that each man should, “step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away” (Thoreau, 915). Who are we to judge God, and by extension, each…show more content…
He felt “Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul” (Thoreau, 917). Thoreau believed in living passionately, with goals and values in mind, and sucking at the marrow of life. To Thoreau, living in the woods was life, because it was vibrant, and fulfilling, and everything he did was important and purposeful. unlike most of us today, who live only in the “ruts of tradition and conformity.” (Thoreau, ), which can lead to falling victim to our nation epidemic of depression. It has also become a common belief in our nation that we are without fault. When we have our pride or dignity insulted, we attack viciously. Consequently, we train ourselves to never risk insulting anyone by stating our belief if it is not the popular belief. Emerson thought you should claim your opinions proudly, and Thoreau felt you need to do something with your opinions. Thoreau said that if we don’t do anything, we are ants, not men.“Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men” (Thoreau, ). He followed it up by sarcastically calling the census inaccurate, “How many men are there to a square thousand miles in this country? Hardly one” (833, Thoreau). History repeats itself, but in this case, nothing ever changed. Many Americans do not want to express their opinion, because then they will have to back it up. Thoreau’s specific example is slavery, as he was a strong abolitionist.
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