Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Transcendentalism Term Analysis

Transcendentalism was an early 19th-century philosophical movement based in the U.S. Its thinkers—Emerson among them—rejected the highly scientific and rational worldview that was common at the time, instead valuing subjectivity, intuition, and spirituality. They believed in the value of every individual and that society (particularly institutions like organized religion and politics) corrupted people. Transcendentalists also deeply appreciated nature and saw it as a way to understand the world and observe the interconnectedness of all things.

Transcendentalism Quotes in Nature

The Nature quotes below are all either spoken by Transcendentalism or refer to Transcendentalism. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Unity and Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Chapter 1: Nature Quotes

But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these preachers of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.

The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence.

Related Characters: Ralph Waldo Emerson (speaker)
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:
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