The Shallows


Nicholas Carr

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Transcendentalism Term Analysis

The transcendentalist movement originated in New England during the mid 18th century. Best represented by American authors Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American transcendentalists believed that true enlightenment and intelligence could be found through communion with nature and deep spiritual meditation. The transcendentalists placed their emphasis on thought and the inexplicable internal life rather than logical reasoning, science, and material items.
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Transcendentalism Term Timeline in The Shallows

The timeline below shows where the term Transcendentalism appears in The Shallows. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Efficiency, Speed, and Relevance  Theme Icon
Value, Depth, and Intelligence  Theme Icon
...Carr turns his attention to the difference between two different philosophies about knowledge and enlightenment. Transcendentalism, as represented by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson, proclaims that enlightenment is the result... (full context)
Chapter 10
Distraction and Focus Theme Icon
Scientific Context Theme Icon
...brings the final chapter of The Shallows to a close with a callback to the Transcendentalist movement, this time using a scientific study that supports Transcendentalist ideas. In 2008, a team... (full context)