The transcendentalist movement took place during the Second Great Awakening when reforms prospered and people questioned the meaning of religion. Transcendentalism expanded on the religious belief that to get to heaven people had to do just what the church believed. Transcendentalists is considered to have begun with Emerson’s publication of “Nature.” Others included Margaret Fuller, Henry Thoreau and Walt Whitman. This movement took off when the followers believed in their own way to find God through emotions and self-reliance. People who were part of this movement believed in the power of humans to make their own decisions. They strongly believed in individual thought and not listening to what others wanted them to do, and instead doing things their own way.

Two modern examples come from well-known movies. First, the Little Mermaid, and secondly, The Hunger Games. In both of these movies the main characters have a strong sense of individuality and following their own beliefs. Ariel is constantly not listening to what her father tells her about the dangers of humans, because she believes they are different from what he has warned her about. Similar to Emerson leaving the church that he worked at, Ariel’s father destroys all her possessions. As a result, she decides to take matter into her own hands like Emerson did when he wrote his book that started the movement. Both Emerson and Ariel listen to their own beliefs to accomplish their goals. Likewise, Katnis from Hunger Games is caught up in self-reliance, optimism and intuition. She does what she need to do survive and she never listens to the capital. Instead, she follows her own beliefs and ideas and does things her own way, rarely listening to what others tell her in order to reach her goal.


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