Transcendentalism Essay Example

Transcendentalism is defined as being in a state of mind above the universe. Transcendentalists believe that individualism is a core belief that a person is everything and his/her mind is capable of anything. The Transcendentalist revolution began in 1833, when Ralph Waldo Emerson who was a pastor took issue with the church doctrine and left. Ralph Waldo Emerson started the revolution in American thought. Transcendentalism is still present in modern day society because modern artifacts such as social media are inspiring people to conform against social media. Transcendentalism is present in modern day society as seen in “What You Believe” by Jonathan Davis, “Do My Thing” by Estelle, “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz; this is important because society encourages conformity as a result, people are interested in returning to individualist beliefs.

Transcendentalist Beliefs

Elements of popular culture are showing a return to Transcendentalist beliefs. For example, the song “What You Believe” by Jonathan Davis expresses a similar view as Emerson, that people are being influenced by social media and are returning back to their individualistic beliefs. Jonathan Davis, the lead singer, sings, “I don’t need anyone from above to tell me what to do / I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do” (“Jonathan Davis Lyrics”). This song has 317,000 views on YouTube (“Sumerian Records”). These lyrics show that social media is causing society to return to their individualistic beliefs because people are realizing that they are not truly being themselves. Social media is not controlling their lives in this instance because the song is talking about no one is going to tell me what to do. This shows that people are drawn toward songs that promote individuality and those who want to be true to themselves.

Transcendentalists beliefs are on the rise again in popular culture. For example, the song “Do My Thing” by Estelle expresses a similar view as Emerson, that it is important to be an individual. Estelle, the lead singer, sings, “I wear my clothes like this because I can / I wear my hair like this because I can / I walk around like this because I can / And I do my thing like 'cause this who I am (this who I am)” (“Estelle Lyrics”). The song’s lyrics show that this individual lives the way they want to live and is not influenced by anything such as social media. This shows that people are drawn to songs that promote individualistic beliefs and with society.

Transcendentalists beliefs are showing a return in modern popular culture. For example, the song “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz expresses similar views as Emerson, that conforming against society to be an individual is important. Nico & Vinz the lead singers, sings, “Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay? / Am I wrong for saying that I'll choose another way? / I ain't trying to do what everybody else doing / Just cause everybody doing what they all do (“Nico & Vinz Lyrics”). This song hit number one on July 26, 2014 (“Nico & Vinz Am I Wrong Chart History”). This individual does not allow social media to control their life and this allows them to be an individual. The lyrics of the song, state that this individual is in charge of their beliefs and does not allow anything to influence it.

Individualism is an important part of a person. In the future, society will become more individualistic and less influenced by society. Social media has been inspiring to people to return to their individualistic beliefs. Transcendentalism will continue to be a part of our culture because individualism is an idea continuously found throughout popular culture.

Works Cited

“Estelle Lyrics.” AZ Lyrics, AZ Lyrics, 2012,

“Jonathan Davis Lyrics.” AZ Lyrics, AZ Lyrics, 2018,

“Nico & Vinz Lyrics.” AZ Lyrics, AZ Lyrics, 2014,

“Nico & Vinz Am I Wrong Chart History.” Billboard, Billboard, 2014,



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