Transcendentalism Essay

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Ketteler has taught literature and composition. In this essay, Ketteler discusses the political dimension of the transcendentalist movement, particularly the way transcendentalist writers address race and gender issues.

The literary, philosophical, and religious movement known as Transcendentalism sprung up in America in the mid-1830s, during a time when the country was headed towards a major political crisis. Transcendentalism is as much a literary movement as it is a political one, and some of the key players—Emerson, Fuller, Thoreau, and Whitman —interwove politics into their intellectual musings. To speak of race, gender, or class—issues which revolve around power relations or unequal distribution of power—as all of these writers did, is a political move. To say these writers were "liberals" by twenty-first century standards is not quite right; however, they were all ahead of their time in their ideas about liberation and equality for all people...

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This section contains 1,522 words
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Buy the Transcendentalism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Transcendentalism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.