Transcendentalism: First Originally American Style of Writing and Thinking Essay

Submitted By AlexDiane24
Words: 369
Pages: 2

AP English Literature and Composition
Sarah Ingram and Alex Ogle
Mra. Wineland
1 October 2014
Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism, popular in the nineteenth century, is the literately movement that spread solely in America with the belief that knowledge can be discovered trough one’s observations and soul. Members of the transcendentalism movement questioned all religions, believing that sanctity belonged and dwelled in the individual. Such members include but are not limited to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the father of the movement, Henry David Thoreau, and briefly
Margret Fuller. While its roots did not spread worldwide, it provided a start to discuss controversial issues facing the country by testing commonly accepted truths and knowledge. American writers adopted these ideals from German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who unlike those of his time, focused his energies on the purpose and abstractions of human existence. He embraced the unknown, and that which cannot be proven, much like the principles that echoed the ideas previously expressed in the English Romantic period. Much like it’s mother country, transcendentalism was the first originally American style of writing (or thinking) to break away from England in expressive, bold, wild, and new ways. Its members’ often attempted to find an inner peace within themselves, simplifying their existence, David Thoreau achieved this through solidarity on Walden pond. His time alone in the wilderness became a muse for

almost all of his works. Critics, while not without merit, reprimanded Thoreau and the movement as a whole, for the impracticality…