Thoreau And Transcendentalism


The beauty in the strength of mere words and the immense impact they have on the soul of man has been the inspiration to many of the greatest poets and writers. The ability to combine elegance with knowledge and thereupon affect the thoughts of others using only paper and pen has intrigued men for centuries. Each generation produces those who vehemently speak out against injustices by their written words. Henry David Thoreau proved to be the voice of his people and thus changed history by expressing the ideals he believed to be correct, though the majority of the people did not always understand these ideals. "I should have told them at once that I was a transcendentalist. That would have ...

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Thoreau became exposed to the reality of life at a relatively young age. His father made pencils in a small shop, while his mother took in boarders. During the bleak winter of 1842, Henry lost his beloved brother John Thoreau, Jr. to a terrible case of lockjaw brought on by a slight, but unattended wound. His death profoundly affected Henry who then resolved to eulogize his brother's death in a book based on a vacation the two had taken on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. By July 1845, Henry left civilization to live in a cabin he had built on the shore of Walden Pond, where he proceeded to write his tribute to his brother's life, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. However, the work which developed as a result of Henry's experiences at Walden Pond, entitled Walden, proved to be more original and exciting than Henry's first book.
After graduating from Harvard in 1837, Thoreau met his acquaintance and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was Emerson who first introduced Henry ...

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Added: 9/4/2004 12:55:36 PM
Category: English
Words: 876
Pages: 4

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