Mccandless And Thoreau's Transcendentalist Movement

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“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” (“Emerson” 1) famous transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote. This idea of transcendentalism was a movement that originated in the late 1820s and quickly consumed the eastern United States. As a protest against the recently popular intellectualism movement, transcendentalism preached about both living simply and celebrating that found in nature and human emotion. In reaction to the purely American ideals, individuals such as Walt Whitman, Henry Wordsworth, and Margaret Fuller sprung forward and preached about their unique ideals. However, when new movements took over the nation, transcendentalism never officially died. Though the ideas…show more content…
After spending a little bit over two years in the woods by the pond, Thoreau retreated back to society. He had fallen into a routine that he had not expected to succumb to and had to leave. Humans’ minds, as well as the dirt under which one walks, are easily susceptible to an impression. Thoreau was ready to outline a new path― a path besides the one leading to his cabin’s front door. Consequently, after his time spent in the woods, Thoreau states that he learned “that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours” (386). Here, Thoreau states that confidence in yourself is the key to unlocking a successful life. If one goes into situations not trusting themselves, failure is surely guaranteed. Because Thoreau dove headfirst into his experiment and knew that he would familiarize himself with great things during his time in nature, he ultimately ended up victorious in regards to those endeavors. In more modern terms, Thoreau was preaching that if one believes it, one can achieve it. Therefore, one must place trust in themselves and not rely solely on those around them. In a similar way, McCandless was just as affected as Thoreau, as confidence is a trusting…show more content…
By secluding himself from those living so-called “normal lives,” Thoreau was able to discover a deeper understanding of not only the world around him but an in-depth comprehension of himself, as well. He refused to conform to societal ways and proceeded to live his life the way that he wanted to, regardless of whatever anyone else had to say about it. Thoreau describes nonconformity with this analogy: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away” (386). It is obvious for the reader to deduce that Thoreau firmly believes that one should be able to live life at their own pace. Here, he describes a man walking a pace that is slower than those who are accompanying him. Thoreau dismisses it and says that the slower man is simply hearing a different drummer and is instead marching to that tempo. This advice can be taken all throughout one’s life, as it was taken in the life of Thoreau. People mature at different rates and rushing through will not benefit whom it concerns. One needs to live in a way that is best for them, regardless of how others are living theirs. The theme of breaking away from societal norms was not only in Thoreau’s times, as McCandless defied standards in similar ways. About halfway

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