The Rhodora Essay

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Bussey holds a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies and a bachelor's degree in English literature. She is an independent writer specializing in literature. In the following essay, Bussey uses Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem and William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" to contrast transcendentalism with romanticism.

Emerson is as strongly associated with transcendentalism as the English poet William Wordsworth is associated with romanticism. Romanticism in England began in 1798, and the style did not dominate American literature until 1830. Transcendentalism began as a philosophical movement in Europe but blossomed into a literary movement in the United States. These two movements share a few basic ideas and beliefs, but they diverge in important areas. Comparing Emerson's "The Rhodora" and Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" affords the opportunity to examine the differences because the poems are similar in their occasions and subjects. In both cases, the speaker is wandering...

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This section contains 1,274 words
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The Rhodora from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.