Essay on Transcendentalism: Truth or and Individual Belief?
The belief of Transcendentalism discussed by both Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson is deeply revolved around the belief of nature being a safe haven from all the evil an individual faces in society. This idea could mostly be argued as incorrect in our present day due to the fact that society is essential to our survival, although the beliefs of everyone being able to become a genius is an idea that should be taken from Emerson and applied in our present day.
Thoreau presents the idea that society has corrupted the individual by making them dependent on non-essential items such as fire, which is outrageous because he claims that society has made us think that fire is necessary for our survival, yet our ancestors were able to survive without it for hundreds of years. I’d beg to oppose Thoreau's idea due to the fact that without fire society wouldn't have been able to achieve everything they have till this day from skyscrapers to cars. In addition, Emerson argues that society sucks up an individual and makes them forget about the teaching of their ancestors, something that Emerson deems essential yet could be argued as nonessential to the individual. I’d beg to oppose Emerson’s idea due to the fact that if we were to obey and listen to our ancestors, society would still have the mindset of the 19th and 20th century which deemed homosexuality morally incorrect and the idea of equality for all as a bizarre idea due to racial discrimination of the past.
Despite disagreeing with most of the Transcendentalist ideas of Emerson and Thoreau, I agree with Emerson's belief that an individual must rely on their own beliefs and share them in order to be considered a genius for the individuality of their thought in society. This idea struck out to me as something I would agree with due to the fact that in today’s society we congratulate and applaud leaders and those leaders were people who believed in there idea and shared it, just like Emerson said Genius’ do. In conclusion, I disagree with the Transcendentalist ideas provided by both Thoreau and Emerson, yet am fond of a small percentage of their ideas solely because they inspire our current society to be better.