Transcendentalists vs. Anti-transcendentalists

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Transcendentalists vs. Anti-transcendentalists

Post  Kenny on Wed May 13, 2009 11:35 am

The main difference between trancendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau and anti-trancendentalists like Mellvile and Hawthorne is that the trancendentalists tend to look on the brighter side of things, while anti-trancendentalists seem much more negative. However, the way I see it, trancendentalists are more like "offensive" players while the antitrancendentalists are "defensive."

The thing is, the trancendentalists seem give off the feeling of ignoring the dark side of humanity in their search for truth and exploration of unlimited human potential. Potential can go both ways, just as much bad can come into existence. Although it really is just a matter of perspective but ok, it can go both ways. Now anti trancendentalists seem to be reminding us of the possibilities of the bad coming in, they seem to say, "sure you have this party goin on, but just because YOU think nobody knows about it doesnt mean that you won't get busted."

In moby dick as well as the scarlett letter, the main characters seem to be everything that is good, Hester perserveres in her work and ultimately is successful in changing the townsfolks' views of her, Ahab seems the very embodiment of bravery and glory. However in the end, both of them lose, Hester loses Dimmesdale, and Ahab fails in his quest to kill Moby Dick and is dragged beneath the ocean. It delivers a slap at the end, reminds us of the flaws that we carry regardless of whether we choose to direct or focus away from them or not.

Then in Emerson's essays and Thoreau's recordings of his life in the woods, there aren't really any mentions of dark sides at all, just constant thoughts about how good life is and how far people can extend their reaches. I think it'd be better to put it this way, Trancendentalists focus more on how far you can reach while anti-trancendentalists focus on where you DO reach to.

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Re: Transcendentalists vs. Anti-transcendentalists

Post  Ajk on Wed May 13, 2009 8:54 pm

Kenny wrote:The main difference between trancendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau and anti-trancendentalists like Mellvile and Hawthorne is that the trancendentalists tend to look on the brighter side of things, while anti-trancendentalists seem much more negative. However, the way I see it, trancendentalists are more like "offensive" players while the antitrancendentalists are "defensive." Really good analogy, Kenny. So the next question is then, what are they being defensive of? And then, it's why are they being defensive?....

The thing is, the trancendentalists seem give off the feeling of ignoring the dark side of humanity in their search for truth and exploration of unlimited human potential. Potential can go both ways, just as much bad can come into existence. Although it really is just a matter of perspective but ok, it can go both ways. Now anti trancendentalists seem to be reminding us of the possibilities of the bad coming in, they seem to say, "sure you have this party goin on, but just because YOU think nobody knows about it doesnt mean that you won't get busted." OK

In moby dick as well as the scarlett letter, the main characters seem to be everything that is good, Hester perserveres in her work and ultimately is successful in changing the townsfolks' views of her, Ahab seems the very embodiment of bravery and glory. However in the end, both of them lose, Hester loses Dimmesdale, and Ahab fails in his quest to kill Moby Dick and is dragged beneath the ocean. It delivers a slap at the end, reminds us of the flaws that we carry regardless of whether we choose to direct or focus away from them or not. This is a key distinction, Kenny. good. reflects your understanding of both characterizations by each author, and then their Anti-Transcendentalist views.

Then in Emerson's essays and Thoreau's recordings of his life in the woods, there aren't really any mentions of dark sides at all, just constant thoughts about how good life is and how far people can extend their reaches. I think it'd be better to put it this way, Trancendentalists focus more on how far you can reach while anti-trancendentalists focus on where you DO reach to.
Ok, so that in the end, you're saying that Anti-Transcendentalists are more realistic?
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Re: Transcendentalists vs. Anti-transcendentalists

Post  Fionaaa :) on Thu May 14, 2009 11:18 pm

hi kenneth,
the anti people are being defensive about their belief in the failure of humans to have unlimited potential? why is that something to be defensive about?
doesn't this relate to the negative people we see in society who laugh at those who try to enjoy life and be optimistic? they call them "happy-go-lucky" and fake. seriously, what do they have against trying to seek happiness for one's self? who cares if one is "fake-ly happy'' as long as they are trying to be happy, it's fine. this isn't denying the negative parts of life, this is re-shifting our focus so that we aren't always COMPLAINING about life and how much it sucks. here's to those who actually take responsibility for their lives. cheers.
lol this 'party' they're having....many people know about it. emerson succeeded in spreading his belief. so now what do the anti people have to say? the party the whole world is in is going to be busted? ^.- so this optimism will lead to our downfall? seems unlikely. hm.
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Re: Transcendentalists vs. Anti-transcendentalists

Post  Kenny on Thu May 14, 2009 11:52 pm

First of all, yes Ms. Kay I AM saying that they are more realistic, pertaining to the physical world that is. Transcendentalists focus more on the mind and the unlimited power it grants us on the spiritual plane. However, Anti-transcendentalists put there focus equally on the mind as well as the body, the physical world DOES have rules, and these rules can put limits on turning our thoughts into "reality," here I'm referring to reality as the physical realm. That's pretty much how they work, it's not really anything on being optimistic or pessimistic, or even realistic, because it really depends on what plane of existence you identify with the most. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Anti-Transcendentalists identify with both the spiritual plane and physical plane equally, they remember the limits set on their bodies and realize that the most they can do is to hope to come up with a clearer distinction of the thin line that separates possible and impossible while Transcendentalists choose to live on the spiritual plane, letting their minds set the boundaries or remove them.

hi fiona,
Erm. Oh, sorry, should've been more clear on that, I meant that they retain the same mindset as defensive and offensive players, not that they actually are offensive or defensive. Offensive players take the initiative, take more risks, experience a faster and larger rush, Defensive players on the other hand, will be cautious, more keen to ride out the storm, they'll be the ones to remind everyone of the rules of the game and how they affect game-play.

As you probably know I agree with you about people that'll laugh at those who choose to pursue life and what possibilities it has to offer. But I dont think anti and transcendentalist beliefs are such extreme opposites. Anti people simply try to remember the rules and then live accordingly so that they don't overshoot. And all that complaining and negativity that you find with some people? That's only found in those who can't deal with life (again anti-transcendentalists do accept life, they just try to keep within its physical boundaries), that try to screw things up for other people because you know what they say, misery loves company. And cmon YOUR the one that's enjoying the life those negative people choose to complain about, what do you care? They gonna stop you from living how you want to live? Sometimes though, you can't really blame them, maybe they've only ever seen the bad sides of life, maybe they haven't got anything good to show. Living life like there aren't any limits really brightens things up and does make the world seem like an amazing place, and well, seeing as you have so much more energy in your life than others, why not sympathize with those who can't feel as you feel. You know, give them a reason to have their lives shine as much as yours does, they've got so much negativity in their life, brighten it up a bit and show them how wrong they've been. Smile

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Re: Transcendentalists vs. Anti-transcendentalists

Post  Fionaaa :) on Thu May 14, 2009 11:59 pm

I meant that they retain the same mindset as defensive and offensive players, not that they actually are offensive or defensive. Offensive players take the initiative, take more risks, experience a faster and larger rush, Defensive players on the other hand, will be cautious, more keen to ride out the storm, they'll be the ones to remind everyone of the rules of the game and how they affect game-play.

wonderfully said.
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