Billy, Bartleby, and Edna: American Transcendentalists

Essay by AzarielUniversity, Bachelor'sA, January 2006

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In "The transcendentalist" and "The Divinity School Address" Ralph W. Emerson clearly expresses his view the world, which is quite different from the one most people are used to and perceive as acceptable. Emerson said that when he is observing the nature around, he starts feeling a connection between him, God, and nature overall, which proves that Emerson was experiencing the divine consciousness connection (a transcendental point of view). According to Emerson, there is no way to define or explain what God is; however, there is a way to feel it, and this way is through connection to God and nature.

In the first place "The transcendentalist" reveals Emersons' Unified Field Theory, which describes where does consciousness come from through biochemical and other elements and explains how it all goes to one main source (just like in Buddhism). Emerson also brings everybody into two categories: materialists and idealists (transcendentalists). The first category founds everything on experience and perceives physical world as a closed system with no connection; while the second category bases its ideas and perceptions on consciousness where everything goes from the level of mind (substance) to the level of form (phenomenon).

In summary, through "The transcendentalist" and "The Divinity School Address" Emerson proves his idea that everything the one sees is a projection of his/ her own belief system. He also states that each person creates his/ her own reality (Emerson, "The Transcendentalist," p.188).All in all, he makes it clear that everyone can use the Universes' power just as Jesus did, applying the divine principles, following the intuition.

"Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Melville is a story about transcendentalist who is gradually releasing physical world out of his consciousness (at firs giving up food, then job and then being "dead alive"). The basic meaning of it is...