Henry David Thoreau: Literary Transcendentalism

Alireza Manzari


During the mid-19th century, New England was experiencing Transcendentalism as a religious, philosophical and literary movement. Despite being inspired by German and British Romanticism, due to its nature which incorporated true notions of American individualism, Transcendentalism was a distinct American movement. Individuals like Thoreau constructed the political dimension of Transcendentalism by putting their transcendentalist beliefs into action by disobeying the government. The true transcendentalist movement was rooted in various influential factors including but not limited to slavery and the civil war, women’s rights, growing industrialism and social gap.Thoreau’s writings are a fit expression of a life based on high ideals and aspirations which integrates integrity and morality. He tends to spent words in pursuit of spiritual development, and it is due to the universal truth behind the particular and the personal that he conveys transcendent meaning. The present article triesto have a closer look at Thoreau’s transcendental literary theory and the way it was presented in his works of art. The article started with proposing a research question regarding the basis of Thoreau’s Transcendental literary thinking and how he presented it in his writings which he regarded as interconnectionamong physical, intellectual, and spiritual worlds.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ells.v2n4p1


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