Transcendentalism Pop Culture Project nathan Arguello

Simplified life

“Our lives are frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.”

- Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Shrek Forever After is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated fantasy comedy film. It is the fourth installment in the Shrek series, produced by DreamWorks Animation. Taking place after Shrek the Third, Shrek is now a family man and beloved among the local villagers. Yearning for the days when he was feared, he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin and accidentally wipes out his entire existence. To restore his existence, Shrek has to regain Fiona's love and kiss her before the sun rises, or he will disappear forever. The film premiered on April 21, 2010

Shrek is the definition of simplified life. In the first film shrek is seen living a simple life in his swamp having no one to care about but himself. However, in the third film he is a family man and has a lot more to worry about. In the third film shrek no longer has a simple life and is the exact opposite to what the quote that Henry David Thoreau writes. In the third film Shrek is seen with Rumpelstiltskin wishing him to give him his old lifestyle of simplicity back and when the only worry was himself. In the quote it says that, “Our lives are frittered away by detail", which because of Shreks struggles with his wife and kids, is wanting to go back to his old lifestyle of simplicity. Shrek really does represent a simple lifestyle and surely does go with the quote as well. Henry David Thoreau would love shrek and the way he is becuase of his simple lifestyle that he lived. However, seeing him in the latest installment film would probably despise it becuase of the many burdens shrek now faces as a family man.


“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

-Walden, Henry David Thoreau

In 2010 Steve Jobs changed the history of phones as we know it. This was the year he introduced his newest projected called the Iphone. The first iphone was revolutionary in many ways and was a dramatic departure from the traditional flip phones people were using at that time. Despite the success many people were still skeptic of idea having a touchscreen phone, in which during a media tour in 2007 in which Steve Jobs showed the device to reporters, there was one instance in which a journalist criticized the iPhone's touch-screen keyboard saying, "It doesn't work," the reporter said, according to a published story in Bloomberg about Apple's latest iPhone.

Steve Jobs is certainly a man who hears a different drummer and steps to the music which he hears. As we've seen through the years with his creations up until his passing. Steve Jobs is definitely a man who represents non conformity. He does things in the ways he wants it done and chooses not to follow others ways, but his ways. He is the epitome of nonconformity. If Henry David Thoreau were alive today, he surely would love the person steve Jobs is and not only that but also love his Apple creations becuase of the ways they are both similar.

Self- Reliance

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.”

“Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 2015 Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president. Many people were skeptic as to how this would turn out. Many thought that he had no chance, others were full supporters. Despite all the criticism from his peers, Donald Trump pushed through and won and in 2017 became the 45 president of the United States.

Donald Trump resembles this quote becuase what he did is all that concerned him. Donald trump came up with his own idea to run for presidency and did not worry what his peers thought, because all that really mattered to him was his campaign and to win the minds of the american people in the way he did and executed so. He did not worry what others had to say about him and shutted down the opposition and focused on what was really important. Trump called to his own duty. He felt the need to run for presidency and help the american people. Despite what he felt his calling was, many people did not agree with him and even as I stated before, mocked at him calling him a joke and felt trump was overstepping his place as an individual in America. That did not matter to him as he determined his own fate and ignored the others who felt that they knew what boundaries were. He knew his duty better than anyone else and he did not conform to those who opposed him or listened what his peers had to say.

Importance of Nature

“In the woods we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life- no disgrace, no calamity…”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 2012 a reality TV show first aired on A&E about a family who loves nature, hunting and Jesus. The show stars the Robertson family who became successful from their family operated business, Duck Commander. The West Monroe, Louisiana business makes products for duck hunters, primarily a duck call called Duck Commander. The Robertson brothers Phil and Si, and Phil's sons Jase, Willie, and Jep are known for their long beards and their Christian values. Many transcendentalist ideas have been expressed in the show by the things they say. These guys spend their time in the woods where they feel that they can feel free and not clamped by the things of the world. This year will be the last season they air.

These guys represent this quote and Importance of Nature because of their transcendentalist ideas. In the woods they do return to "reason and faith..", when they're in the woods they can connect and feel the presence of God. They feel that they gain wisdom and understanding. A wisdom and understanding that can only be received by those who seek her and fills the spirit with a sense of joy. Also, as stated in the quote, "nothing can befall me in life- no disgrace, no calamity…”, in the woods they feel that when the struggles of the world are on their shoulders, they just go to nature and feel as if their burdens have been lifted. They feel as if the struggles of the world is lifted off their shoulders and feel a sense of peace. A sense of peace that is so comforting and powerful that nothing in the world can befall them. A peace that fills the soul. This is a peace that has a man wondering what is it that makes these men so different from the average person and want to seek after what they have. I think that Emerson would like this and surely enjoy what these men do. Their ideas and thoughts are fairly similar to one another and show a sense of similar ideas. If Emerson were alive today, he would be a great friend of the Robertsons.

Favoring Intuition over Reason

“That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.” -

“Journals 1856,” Henry David Thoreau

A slick sports agent, becomes stranded in a small town. The simplicity of life and the faith of the people living there cause him to re-evaluate where his life is headed. When high-powered sports agent Rob Decker arrives looking for his next major league prospect, he finds more than he bargained for at the Cooke Boys Ranch. As he works to secure Shawn Hart, the top high school baseball prospect in the country, he encounters a cast of characters who value happiness and common sense over dollars and cents. In 2013 a movie came out titled “Ring The Bell”. This movie was about a man who was a baseball agent in the MLB. He had all things going for him, money, cars, women...until he tries to recruit a baseball player straight out of highschool but learns that his wishes are to go to play in college first. This boy's uncle who was a projected first round MLB draft pick decided to not go that path and just enjoy his quiet life and ran an orphanage. This mans uncle chose what he feels is what God had planned for him instead and chose to help others instead of the lifestyle of fame and riches.

This quote is exactly what this movie is about. A baseball player choosing to not follow the fame and fortune and keep a quiet life running his orphanage instead. This Is exactly what the quote is saying, “That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.”. This says that sometimes the best way in life is not the money, fame, fortune, or best cars but wherever you could be a blessing to other people in the littlest of things is more meaningful than anyone of these things. Happy is the man who lives like this, for he finds true happiness and meaning even in the littlest of things. Transcendentalism can be found in this movie becuase of the similar theme it shares with the quote said by Henry David Thoreau. In the movie the main character, trying to recruit the high school baseball player, learns about the prospects uncle's decision of why he chose not pursue a career in the MLB and chose to help kids in need instead. He chose not to pursue the things of the world that corrupts a man, but instead a life of meaning and humbleness. This type of lifestyle surely does make a man rich in his soul, which is something money or fame can't do. I think Henry David Thoreau would enjoy this movie very much becuase of the similar ideas it shares with him. If thoreau was making a list of his favourite movies, this would definitely be on his list.


Created with images by lensnmatter - "where gods abound!" • Doug Kline - "Madame Tussaud's Hollywood - Shrek" • Artistic-touches - "Balance" • segagman - "Steve Jobs 1955-2011" • diego_torres - "deer animal richmond" • marcn - "Donald Trump" • vonsi46 - "fire brand bush" • Tetsumo - "kids"

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