Transcendentalism, it's beliefs and history, including information on Thoreau and Emerson, including quotes

Essay by boardgal55High School, 12th gradeA+, February 2003

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So very many things in life sound like a great idea until they are actually acted upon. Examples of this are communism, eating an Extra Large Super Banana Split all by yourself, mosh pits, relationships in high school, and transcendentalism. They all seem wonderful and will create excellent results; but once you try and put the puzzle together you're missing several pieces. Transcendentalists endeavored to extend their ideas across the country, but failed. Their ideas were excellent, and their motives pure, but people could not live up to the expectations of a transcendentalist society. They were very nature-oriented, spiritual, peaceful, hopeful people. They wanted mankind to be in harmony with the environment. They attempted to create utopias, where all was at peace. Now, the more I have learned about transcendentalism, the more I want to follow in their footsteps. It's then that reality kicks in, and one realizes that this world is a fast-paced, changing palace of conflict.

Ideas like transcendentalism would simply be swept away with the storm.

Although transcendentalism remained a dream, many ideas transcendentalists upheld are still induced into our society. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, two transcendentalist writers, scripted many of the quotes, ideas, and ethics we have all grown up with. For example, Emerson said, "Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." This quote inspires one to use the talents they have to the best of their ability; to use what they were given, whether it is intelligence, physical strength, or humor to make the world a better place. Along the same lines, he states, "This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it," telling us to not sit back and let things happen, but to...