Research Project

Transcendentalism :

Religious and philosophical movement that happened in the late 1820's and 30's in the eastern region of the U.S as a protest against the general state of spirituality and, in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University, and the doctrine of the unitarian church.

Utopian Movement :

The main idea about the utopia movement is, there were people obsessed with finding the "Perfect" society. Upset with the world around them Utopia seekers longed for an ideal society. Most of the communes had short life spans, and the utopians performed their experiments in isolation from the rest of society, yet they all expressed the deep desire of perfectionism.

Brook Farm Community :

Transcendentalist writer George Ripley founded Brook Farm Commune in 1841 near Boston, Massachusetts. His goal was to “prepare a society of liberal, intelligent, and cultivated persons whose relations with each other would permit a more wholesome and simple life than can be led amidst the pressure of our competitive institutions.” Member of the farm worked to make the group self-sufficient, though few individuals lived on site in the communes early years. In 1844 Brook Farm adopted a constitution based on the socialist ideas of Charles Fourier, who argued that people were capable of living in perfect harmony under the right conditions. These conditions included communal life and a republican style government. Once Brook Farm demanded that its residents share equally their earnings, the commune disintegrated. The farm is remembered largely for the famous writers who resided there for brief periods, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Nathaniel Hawthorne :

Books : He fictionalized his experience writing the book, Blithedale Romance (1852)

Brook farm : Nathaniel Hawthorne founded Brook Farm, Though he was not a strong adherent of the community's ideals.

Ralph Waldo Emerson :

Books : Self- Reliance

Brook Farm : Taking root in America, Transcendentalism created a cultural renaissance in New England during 1830-45 and received its chief American expression in Ralph Waldo Emerson's individualistic doctrine of self-reliance.

Edgar Allen Poe :

Wrote a story, "Never bet the devil your head" (1841), in which he embedded elements of deep dislike for transcendentalism, calling its followers "Frogpondians" after the pond on Boston Common The narrator ridiculed their writings by calling them "metaphor-run" lapsing into "mysticism for mysticism's sake", and called it a "disease." The story specifically mentions the movement and its flagship journal The Dial, though Poe denied that he had any specific targets. In Poe's essay "The philosophy of composition" (1846), he offers criticism denouncing "the excess of the suggested meaning... which turns into prose (and that of the very flattest kind) the so-called poetry of the so-called transcendentalists."