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Transcendentalism Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Transcendentalism.
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Critical Overview

Critically speaking, Transcendentalism was not exactly a cohesive movement. In other words, it was a collection of varied ideas and aims that existed among various thinkers, writers, and philosophers. Emerson biographer Richardson says:

Whatever Transcendentalism was, it was not suited
to institutionalizing. It gave birth to no academy; it
flourished in no college or seminary. It had two collective
expressions during its heyday (the club and the magazine
called The Dial) but could only manage one at a time.



Emerson is regarded as the center of the movement, but he encouraged his followers to think for themselves. While the movement may not have been a cohesive whole, it was very influential for several American writers.

Critics have responded in varied ways to transcendentalist works. Perhaps Whitman's Leaves of Grass garnered the strongest responses. Critic Reynolds points out that while there were more positive than negative views of Whitman's...

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This section contains 298 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Transcendentalism Study Guide
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Transcendentalism from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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