Transcendentalism

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Transcendentalism is a philosophical philosophy founded in 1835 by Ralph Emerson. It is essentially a literary and intellectual phenomenon in the United States that was based on utilitarianism in the nineteenth century. Emerson explains that in order to enter isolation, a person must withdraw from his home and from his immediate community (Emerson 1503). Whitman wrote the song for himself to depict the relationship between the American landscape and how nature affected the outcome of the Civil War (Whitman 2760). He is unfailingly positive about American democracy. Transcendentalism believed in idealism, trust, simplicity, and, most importantly, the value of nature. Transcendentalists proclaimed that nature permitted us to escape from our own realism and it frees us so that we can bond with our inner spirit. With the use of the movie Hunger Games as an example, the paper elaborates the role of “nature” in transcendentalism and how it defines the imagination of nature in US culture.

Emerson points out that nature works with a spiritual element that demonstrates a man’s particular powers. He proclaims that the relationship between language and nature is important because man cannot be understood without nature. A modern American’s ability to express themselves requires a sense of origin, love for the truth and the desire to efficiently communicate. Since man speaks through poetry or art, there is need to maintain a vital connection with nature. Thus, nature express the workings of God.

Transcendentalists were intense in the comparison between people and nature. Emerson for instance divides the world into self (which represents one’s soul) and nature (which represents the outer world) (Emerson 2036). The philosopher states that unlike children, most adults have lost the sense of viewing the world as a make of “transparent eyeball”. Essentially, satisfaction in all works of American life can only be fully attained when a person’s inner process complement the outer world. In most of the chapters of his book, he links nature to beauty, commodity and language. For instance, he writes “commodity is the most basic use of nature- heat, water and transportation” (Emerson 2037). Also, human beings harness nature as a commodity. In addition, Emerson argues that the perception of nature’s beauty is likely to lie with the structure of the eye. He means to say that every object has its own beauty and therefore, it is up to us to comprehend a vision of the whole. Natural beauty gives us pleasure, imparts a sense of well-being and it allows man to enjoy the splendor that comes with nature (Harvey 20).

As seen in the movie Hunger Games, transcendentalists settles the imagination of nature in the US culture by formulating new ways of understanding truth and knowledge. The Hunger Games is a popular movie in the United Sates and it show how the actors take advantage of nature in order to survive. Most of the actors and actresses across the 12 districts were required to use natural objects to formulate new survival tactics. There are many scenes that shows the importance of nature (Emerson 1546). The survivors made good use of the natural resources that were available in all the 12 districts. These resources include fish, grain, livestock and lumber. Nature also educates man through rationality and logic. Similarities and differences between people and objects manifolds through nature. The intuitive reason behind these similarities and differences are proclaimed naturally. Henry David Thoreau notes that at a certain time of our lives, we should consider every spot as a possible site of a house. Essentially, he meant that nature radiated from any part of the universe (Thoreau 2030). Lastly, the current socio-economic life, religion and ethics are all tied to particular facets of nature.

Works Cited

Emerson, Ralph. Nature: Emerson on Transcendentalism. Independent Publishing Platform. 2014. Print.

Harvey, Samantha. Transatlantic Transcendentalism: Coleridge, Emerson and Nature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2013. Print

Whitman, Walt. 2001. Song of myself. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. https://www.overdrive.com/search?q=9E8E8DD2-2A6B-4B69-BAC0-C6F2C3F45ADE.

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