Emily Dickinson: Transcendentalist Experience Through Imagination



The early 19th century ideas of transcendentalism, which were introduced
by Ralph Emerson and David Thoreau, where man as an individual becomes
spiritually consumed with nature and himself through experience are contrasted
by Emily Dickinson, who chose to branch off this path by showing that a
transcendentalist experience could be achieved through imagination alone. These
three monumental writers set the boundaries for this new realm of thought.
Although these writers ideas were not similar, they all followed the simple idea
that “the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul” . The male perspective
seen through the works of Thoreau and Emerson, where nature “refers to ...

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stereotype of the
true male environment, “nature”, to draw their power and write from their
experiences. Experience was the most important factor to these writers. The
ability “to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account in my next
excursion” was the basis of all their writings. “To get the whole and genuine
meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the whole world” was their goal
behind all their writings. They did not use their power of writing in order to
gain a transcendentalist experience, but rather to record them. Both Emerson
and Thoreau chose to contact their true natural surroundings, and experience
time alone in the “woods”. By being “in solitude”, it brought forth a
conciseness that “all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind
is open to their influence” .

Mans views of nature being rightfully his, to do with what he wants, is
harshly contrasted by Emerson, who feels that “Nature sais,-He is my creature” .
Emerson felt ...

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committed himself to “nature”. By
letting it become part of his soul, he used its power to enable him to transcend
into the identity of anything or anyone he would like. This idea is important
to Emerson because it transforms “the tradesman, the attorney comes out of the
din and craft of the street, and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again”
. Looking at himself as an individual, not as a number lost in a sea of people
walking down a street, enabled Emerson to draw power to himself, where he did
not have to rely on anyone or anything. He became his own deity, his own master,
and his self owner. Emerson contained the ability “To believe your own thought,
to believe that ...

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"Emily Dickinson: Transcendentalist Experience Through Imagination." Essayworld.com. September 20, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Emily-Dickinson-Transcendentalist-Experience-Through-Imagination/71457.
"Emily Dickinson: Transcendentalist Experience Through Imagination." Essayworld.com. September 20, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Emily-Dickinson-Transcendentalist-Experience-Through-Imagination/71457.
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Added: 9/20/2007 08:46:08 AM
Category: English
Words: 1508
Pages: 6

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