Comparing Emerson And Thoreau

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Transcendentalism was a popular mindset among many different great thinkers during the time in which it was popular. Though Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are credited as more important transcendentalists, many other people still write with a transcendental mindset. The ideas that Emerson and Thoreau publicized made their way into many different works, including Walt Whitman's poetry. Though there are many different ideas and themes encompassed in his poetry, the ideas of self-reliance and the beauty of nature stand out within his writings. Whitman, in at least two of his poems, strongly supports the theme of independence. "You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the…show more content…
The 'eyes of the dead' and 'spectres in the books' are both viewpoints of an outdated source. Both the dead and already written books cannot attain new information, they could have been correct when they were written, but there is no guarantee now. Besides the possibility of being out of date, those perspectives are not the readers, which also explains the next line about not taking things from him (the writer). Finally, the idea of being able to listen to all sides and filter an argument is essentially self-reliance. The encouragement to attain these transcendental goals implies a transcendental philosophy
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