Transcedental Pop Culture Project Sariah stephens


"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shailene Woodly plays the role of Tris Prior in the Divergent series, which is about a young girl who doesn't know who she is, or where she belongs. Within the first movie, Tris finds out that she is divergent, or different from everyone. Because she is not one personality type, she is considered a danger to all in Chicago. Tris tries to hid this and succeeds, for only a short while. Later in the series, she accepts who she is and fights for those alike.

To me, this means that everyone should be themselves, no matter others' opinions. If Tris Prior is considered dangerous and she is comfortable with that, its highly possible that we are fully capable of being ourselves. We are who we are, and we are different. We are humans, and we may be similar, but no two people are alike, and we should embrace this rather than hide it.

Tris Prior definitely did a lot more than just being herself. She taught others to do the same no matter the cost. Kicking butt and kissing Theo James was great, but inspiring people to go against the norm... How incredible it must feel to do that! Ralph Waldo Emerson has done the same through his poems. Had he been alive today, Tris Prior is, without a doubt, to be found by his side.

Importance of Nature

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

Albert Einstein

Bear Grylls perfectly displays the importance of nature through his adventurous journeys and wild life experiences. He often spends his time outdoors and has had many experiences in the wild, surviving the best and worst of the beautiful Mother Nature. He shares his love for nature with others through his hit TV show Running Wild. Grylls also has a survival academy not only to help others through the trials Nature bestows, but to also help bring families and employees together through Nature.

Many people may think him moronic, but I hold him in high respect. It's rare to find a person that has a deep appreciation for nature. Einstein was correct in saying we get a better understanding through nature. I'm sure Grylls agrees. How else would he be as inspiring and understanding of the luxuries of life? Surely he owes some of his thoughts to our great and gracious lands.

Sure, Bear Grylls is a mountain man, goes camping for days at a time, and likes to look at a tree, but he is also a person with a true understanding of nature, which is the kind of person this world needs. Now, in the 21st century, we have evolved to idolize technology, and dismiss the death of a tree for providing us paper. Nature is living, and she is beautiful.

Simple Life

"In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Tiny House Movement is a social movement in which people choose to downsize their living space. It is called tiny living. This "tiny living" style came about because people realized that a large home is not only expensive, but unnecessary. The need for a home isn't really a need at all, but, rather, a want. The mission of couple Ryan and Hannah Corson is to restore simplicity to life. Their mission began in 2012 when they Ryan proposed to Hannah. They were both very poor and had no intention in spending over $28,000 for a wedding. They later realized the same should be said about a home. Who needs to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home?

Yes, it is nice to have a large home and be able to say that your hard work was put into it. To have the latest technological devices in the pocket of your pants is a great thing, but it isn't existential. This is what Emerson and Thoreau taught and aimed to spread. I highly respect the idea of a simplified life.

There is, no doubt, a large amount of people that strongly disagree with a tiny house and minimal possessions, but this is a wonderful, old fashion idea that has nearly died out, just like so many others. I'm sure Henry Wadsworth Longfellow agrees with my statement.

Intuition Over Reason

"Have faith in your intuition and listen to your gut feeling."

Ann Cotton

Katniss Everdeen, the daring character of The Hunger Games trilogy, shows a great deal of favoring intuition over reason. At the young age of 12 she took on the responsibility of feeding her destroyed mother and hopeful sister by poaching animals- the one rule she's broken. Katniss lived in a society where the Capitol controlled all life and the districts in which citizens lived offered two of their own children to fight to the death in a very competitive game. For 73 years, only one "victor" was to return home. On the 74th year, however, that was not the case. Katniss fought to get the handsome Peeta out of the arena alive. Now, the second rule she's broken.

I read The Hunger Games trilogy in three days, and with every word I admired Katniss more and more. I reread the books because it was a miraculous thing, to me, to imagine myself going against a cruel government and fighting for the things that I deem right. It wasn't just Jennifer Lawrence's pretty costumes that attracted me to her, but her strong will to do what was right, no matter the law, that's what pulled me toward this trilogy.

Many people would argue that the story is about a girl who fought angry children for fame and a boyfriend, but those people obviously didn't read the book. Katniss fought to keep Peeta and her sister alive. Katniss overthrew the despicable Capitol, just by following her instincts.

Self Reliance

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since the release of Single Ladies in 2008, Beyonce has inspired many women and low self esteemed teenage girls. That one song spoke to many females worldwide, saying they don't need a man to have the good time that they deserve. A Modern Transcendentalism Project website says, "[it] became the anthem to independent women, empowering them to be self reliant and be able to do things on their own without a man to lean on."

I do take Beyonce's lyrics to heart because many women grew up thinking that we should be dependent on men, and that's not what Single Ladies has taught me, and several others alike. The song Flawless taught us another important lesson- don't be dependent on makeup or other things to feel beautiful, and like Emerson said, if we are self reliant, we will have peace, meaning, if we depend on only our minds and inner thoughts and see ourselves as beautiful, we will have peace, because we won't constantly be stressing about others' opinions on us, because we are gorgeous.

Beyonce had grown drastically famous over the past years for singing her mind and continuing to "empower" women. Her millions of adoring fans would agree that she is a very self reliant person. Maybe Thoreau wouldn't go out of his way to meet Beyonce, but I know that he would be jamming out to single ladies with the rest of us girls. (Though, only for a minute or two.)


Created with images by Zorro4 - "pasture river bank" • 44833 - "ocean waves tide" • lwpkommunikacio - "Bear Grylls: Túlélőpróba" • hansbenn - "hut small house truss" • Robb North - "simple" • Peter23394 - "jennifer_lawrence_as_katniss_everdeen_and_josh_hutcherson_as_peeta_mellark-wallpaper-1920x1080"

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