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Self-Reliance---Emersonppt自力更生-- emersonpp.PPT 21页

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Transcendentalism Transcendentalism Intellectual movement (both literary and philosophical) during the New England Renaissance (roughly 1836-1860) Leading Transcendentalists: Ralph Waldo Emerson; Henry David Thoreau Began as informal discussion club in Boston, but spread in influence – many of its ideas still part of American culture today Transcendentalism (cont.) Influences: Puritanism ? nature as symbolic; belief in higher power Platonism ? insistence on spiritual and intellectual ideals in spite of growing cultural focus on materialism, consumerism Romanticism ? ideas of individualism, imagination, counter-cultural spirit Transcendentalism (cont.) Main ideas of Transcendentalism: Particularly interested in the natural world and its relationship to humanity Believed that if they explored nature thoroughly, they would come to know themselves and the universal truths better Thought that the human spirit is reflected in nature Transcendentalism (cont.) Most important belief of Transcendentalists: all forms of being – God, nature, and humanity – are spiritually united through a shared universal soul or “over-soul” (Emerson) “Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson “Self-Reliance” “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance, that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.” “Self-Reliance” Envy is ignorance – we are envious of people who have what we don’t – knowledge, talent, etc. Imitation is suicide – can’t copy somebody else forever Will not be successful if people do not know who you truly are “Self-Reliance” We must accept ourselves as we are; limitations and talents / strengths and weaknesses Need to know yourself well if you are going to excel / achieve in any area; use the talents you


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