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Transcendentalism in Literature Flashcards

Transcendentalism in Literature Flashcards
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Ideals of Transcendentalism: Intuition
Members of this movement thought that this represented the ability to just know something after connecting with the Over-Soul. It serves as a major theme in Self-Reliance.
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Self-Reliance
Through this essay, Emerson encouraged people to bring about change by using personal strengths.
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Society and Solitude
An essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It asserts that through private contemplation we can see how we're unique. It also shows intuition as very important.
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Ideals of Transcendentalism: Self-Reliance
The individuals in this movement, including Thoreau, rejected materialism and strove to be dependent to no one, believing this allowed them to truly own their possessions.
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Walden
In this book, Henry David Thoreau contends that people are enslaved by progress. He condemns materialism and praises self-reliance and nature.
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Ideals of Transcendentalism: Individualism
This movement believed that individuals had a power independent of the State. Thoreau demonstrates this in Civil Disobedience by saying that people shouldn't pay taxes to unjust governments.
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Civil Disobedience
An essay by Thoreau that explored the theme of refusing to conform (individualism). This theme has been repeated often over the years, all the way down to the work of Jack Kerouac.
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Because I could not stop for death
Dickinson wrote this poem about the process of dying. In the poem, death isn't portrayed as terrible or frightening, but merely as a step to reach eternal rest.
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Hope is the thing with feathers
This poem of Dickinson's focuses on the individual experience of hope, without attributing it to a divine cause. This interest in the individual draws on Transcendentalism.
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Emily Dickinson
She created poems that often featured very short lines. Her poems often included slant rhyme and used very plain language. She didn't title most of her poems.
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Slant Rhyme
A type of rhyme that isn't perfect. With this, words rhyme enough to be noticeable but the sounds don't match exactly. Emily Dickinson used these often.
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Flashcard Content Overview

The flashcards in this set can help you go over the ideals held by Transcendentalists, as well as how they expressed these values in their works. You'll be able to consider the use of free verse and slant rhyme. Works by Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Emily Dickinson will be discussed.

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Slant Rhyme
A type of rhyme that isn't perfect. With this, words rhyme enough to be noticeable but the sounds don't match exactly. Emily Dickinson used these often.
Emily Dickinson
She created poems that often featured very short lines. Her poems often included slant rhyme and used very plain language. She didn't title most of her poems.
Hope is the thing with feathers
This poem of Dickinson's focuses on the individual experience of hope, without attributing it to a divine cause. This interest in the individual draws on Transcendentalism.
Because I could not stop for death
Dickinson wrote this poem about the process of dying. In the poem, death isn't portrayed as terrible or frightening, but merely as a step to reach eternal rest.
Civil Disobedience
An essay by Thoreau that explored the theme of refusing to conform (individualism). This theme has been repeated often over the years, all the way down to the work of Jack Kerouac.
Ideals of Transcendentalism: Individualism
This movement believed that individuals had a power independent of the State. Thoreau demonstrates this in Civil Disobedience by saying that people shouldn't pay taxes to unjust governments.
Walden
In this book, Henry David Thoreau contends that people are enslaved by progress. He condemns materialism and praises self-reliance and nature.
Ideals of Transcendentalism: Self-Reliance
The individuals in this movement, including Thoreau, rejected materialism and strove to be dependent to no one, believing this allowed them to truly own their possessions.
Society and Solitude
An essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It asserts that through private contemplation we can see how we're unique. It also shows intuition as very important.
Self-Reliance
Through this essay, Emerson encouraged people to bring about change by using personal strengths.
Ideals of Transcendentalism: Intuition
Members of this movement thought that this represented the ability to just know something after connecting with the Over-Soul. It serves as a major theme in Self-Reliance.
Self-Reliance: Culture
Emerson believed that you demonstrated self-reliance in this area if you stayed in one place physically but allowed your mind to wander.
Self-Reliance: Religion
According to Emerson, self-reliance in this area required you to understand the oneness between man and god.
Self-Reliance: Arts
In this essay, Emerson asserted that self-reliance in this field meant not imitating the work of others. He thought that schools made people reliant in this area because they encouraged copying.
The American Scholar
A speech delivered by Emerson that stressed the Transcendentalist concept of unity along with the need for self-direction.
Transcendentalists
A group that focused on literature and philosophy around the middle of the 19th century. The members of this group were nonconformists who valued standing apart from the crowd.
Transcendentalists: View on Religion
This group refused to follow the practices associated with organized religions, preferring a more personal form of spirituality. This led others to see them as nonconformists.
Ideals of Transcendentalism: Universal Soul
The belief that each person held within himself or herself the entire splendor of the world. Emerson referred to this as the 'eternal ONE.'
Transcendentalists: Role of Poets
In this group, poets were referred to as 'liberating gods' because they helped readers to view the world more clearly.
Walt Whitman
A Transcendentalist poet who used free verse, unlike many of the poets who came before him, including Longfellow.
Leaves of Grass
Whitman wrote this poem that delves into the value of nature. It's a sensual work that was shocking when first published.
Leaves of Grass: Physicality
Many lines in this poem take the focus off of a person's mind or spirit, instead dwelling on physical forms in a way that was considered controversial at the time.
Free Verse
A type of poetry that doesn't conform to any set rhyme or meter. Whitman wrote his poems in this style.

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