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The Scarlet Letter Type I: Society


... of modern thought due to science and technology Big Three Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau Margaret Fuller Transcendentalism is NOT ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Scarlet Letter Type I: Society

The Scarlet Letter Type I Society
  • In what ways does our society demand we conform
    to certain conventions?
  • What expectations does our society have about how
  • Behave in public
  • Treat other people
  • Make a living.
  • Write your answers for these three ideas in one
    column. In a second column, indicate what
    happens to people who do not meet societys

  • Or as I like to call themvery early hippies

History of Transcendentalism
  • Took the idea of pervasive morality from Puritans
  • Took the concept of nature as a living mystery
    from Romantics
  • Movement grew out of modern thought due to
    science and technology
  • Big Three Transcendentalists
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Margaret Fuller

Transcendentalism is NOT a religion
  • Does not believe in God
  • Does not believe in afterlife
  • Does not believe this life has consequences on
    the next
  • Instead it is a philosophy, state of mind, and
    form of spirituality
  • Transcendentalism rejects afterlife and places
    emphasis on THIS life

Basic Assumption of Transcendentalism
  • Intuition, instead of reason, became the means
    for a conscious union of the individual soul with
    the world soul (aka the Oversoul)

Basic Beliefs
  • Form of idealism
  • Human soul part of the Oversoul
  • Every individual to be respected all have
    portion of Oversoul
  • More important to think about this life than
    worry about afterlife
  • Evil is merely an absence of good
  • Power obtained by demonstrating ones own
    spiritual and moral strength
  • Emphasis on self-reliance and human thinking
  • Great leaders, thinkers, and philosophers show
    what individuals can become through thinking and

Transcendental View of Human Nature
  • An individual is the spiritual center of the
  • In an individual can be found the clues to
    nature, history, and the cosmos itself
  • The structure of universe literally duplicates
    the structure of the individual self-knowledge
  • All knowledge therefore begins with
  • Individual virtue and happiness depend upon
  • Nature is a living mystery, full of signs and

Spiritual View of the World
  • The Oversoul is the ultimate spiritual force in
  • The Oversoul encompasses all existence and
    reconciles all opposing forces
  • Material objects have no real existence of their
  • All are diffused parts of the Oversoul
  • By contemplating objects in Nature, the
    individual can transcend this world and discover
    unity between Self-God-Nature
  • Unity of life and universe
  • Relationship between all things
  • Use of intuition and insight to discover
    transcendental reality

Legacy of Transcendentalism
  • Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Protested using civil disobedience
  • Beat generation of 1950s and Young Radicals
    of 1960s and 70s
  • Practiced dissent, anti-materialism, anti-war,
    and anti-work ethic sentiments
  • Popularity of Black Power, Feminism, and sexual
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