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Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau Ralph Waldo Emerson Best Friends with Thoreau Self-Taught- He was a lecturer and writer Father died at a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Transcendentalism

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau

Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Best Friends with Thoreau
  • Self-Taught- He was a lecturer and writer
  • Father died at a young age
  • Aunt influenced him in philosophy
  • Attended Harvard
  • Was a teacher and minister at the 2nd Church of
  • Married to Ellen Tucker

  • Walt Whitman praised Emerson the writer
  • Moved away from Calvinist ideas in his later life
  • Started the Transcendental Club- Remember we just
    learned what transcendental ideas were last class
    on wksh
  • Placed great value in intuition

  • Oversoul- belief that one being connects us all
  • Transcentalism was a religious movement in Europe
    but only a literary movement in America
  • Emerson believed that people were innately good

4 characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • 1. belief that people are innately divine
  • 2. individuals can discover truth through nature
    rather than religious doctrine
  • 3. they wanted to be self- reliant (rely on
    themselves rather than other people for
  • 4. nature is a symbol of the spirit- found truth
    through intuition and it can be found through

Henry David Thoreau
  • 1817-1862- born in Concord, MA
  • Mother was a boarder- met all kinds of people
  • Moved to Walden Pond July 4, 1845
  • At 28 he was considered a failure
  • He only lasted two weeks as a teacher because he
    would not whip a child
  • Attended Harvard
  • Hawthorne wrote to newspaper complaining about

  • Never married
  • He received independence in college
  • He wore a green jacket to chapel
  • English literature and German philosophy
    influenced Thoreau into Transcendentalism

Walden Pond
  • Walden Pond was only 2 miles from Concord- not
    very self-reliant
  • He went to town once a month
  • Thoreau claims people are one-dimensional- we get
    caught up in living
  • Walden is considered successful because of
    blending of style and content
  • Only spent two years here

  • He believed that America was extending their land
    for more slave holding territory
  • He spent two nights in jail because he wouldnt
    pay his pole tax
  • In response to his experience in jail he wrote
    Resistance to Civil Government
  • Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. were influenced
    by this essay

  • Thoreau died from TB
  • His aunt asked when he was dying if he had made
    his peace with God.
  • He replied, I didnt know we had ever
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