Transcendentalism Pop Culture Project alex kepler


“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.”

-Henry David Thoreau, "Walden"

The Amazing Spider Man came out in 2012 and is a great example of non-conformity in pop culture. So Spiderman aka Peter Parker, gets spider like powers threw a genetically altered spider. He was an ordinary high school, then the next day he is a superhero fighting crime. He must conform to be human like to not be recognize as Spiderman. On top of that he tries to uncover the mystery of his parents death. His secret is really difficult to keep when it comes to his close ones. If a villain were to know who Spiderman was, he would attack their family and friends.

Thoreau says, "he hears a different drum..." Spiderman hears a totally different drum. He isn't like other humans. His destiny to save innocent lives from dangerous people.

The connection between the two are that Spiderman has a hears a different drum compared to the others. I don't think Thoreau wouldn't agree to this due to the fact that its a superhero.

Importance of Nature

“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

-Henry David Thoreau

Obama has been a huge impact on nature in his last two terms. He has tried everything to make the world a more Eco friendly environment. On September 2014, Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM). This monument encompasses about 490,000 square miles. It is home to corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, birds, insects and plants that are unique from other places. Another example of Obama's impact is form was on July 29, 2011. President Obama announced an agreement with 13 automotive companies to increase fuel economy from 29.7 miles per gallon to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. If accomplished, this task will reduce the consumer purchase of gas by $1.7 trillion and will reduce gas emissions

Thoreau says, ¨“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” which means what the point of having a home if our home is getting ruined by ourselves. That is the same view as Obama. He want to save the world from our terrible pollution. This shows Transcendentalism because Obama loves nature and wants to protect it. Thoreau would like this but would also be disappointed of how irresponsible humans are for trashing our earth.

Self- Reliance

“A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bear Grylls is by far the most self-reliant person out there. His first TV series Man Vs. Wild is about Grylls going to dangerous areas and surviving with only what nature gives him. His series ran threw 2006-2011. He has gone to extremes to survive in any terrain. He has been to the driest deserts and to the coldest tundras. He also drank his own piss multiple times. He doesn't rely on anyone but his survival skills. He has been everywhere in the world and has survived all of it.

The quote by Emerson tells us that when someones put there dedication and hard work into something, they are the happiest. Bear Grylls works exuberantly hard to pursue survival. One time Grylls was located in the Savanna and was out of drinking options. He found elephant dung with a little bit of moisture in it. He squeezed the dung moisture into his mouth for water. He said hes heard that from an old ranger.

Favoring Intuition over Reason

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string”

Ralph Waldo Emerson- Self Reliance

Lebron James is a great example of Self Reliance in that his childhood was tough. An article by Business Insider in 2013 talked about Lebron's childhood. He was born in Akron, Ohio. A city not even on the map. His mom was a single parent who struggled to support him and herself. When his grandma died, they were condemned form their home. Between ages 5-8 he moved 12 times. At age 9 he had to live with his basketball coach because of an unstable home environment. Lebron's high school basketball coach was a father figure to him. His coach told him to use his basketball talent to take him where ever he wants to go. Plenty of people told him that he would never make. He proved everyone that he is the best NBA player.

The quote from Emerson tells us to believe in yourself no matter what and to follow your heart. Lebron followed his heart and achieved greatness. He proved to everyone that you can achieve anything if you believe in yourself. Emerson would 100% agree with this because he is all about intuition over anything.


“Live your life. Do your work. Then take your hat.”

-”Conscience”, Henry David Thoreau

The TV series Mountain Men is a perfect example of simplicity. Mountain Men aired on 2012. Its about men who live off the grid and live simple lives. One example is Eustace Conway, who has lived at the western edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina for more than 25 years, teaches interns about the old ways of living with nature. He is one of the many who live similar lives as him.

Thoreau's quote is telling us that just live life and do what is needed. That is all. This connects with the Mountain Men because they just do what is necessary and move along with their days. They don't interfere with anything more. Thoreau would approve of this because they live simple lives, which is what he wants for everyone


Created with images by phtorxp - "the clouds blue sky nature" • Yolanda - "meerkat africa animal" • dimitrisvetsikas1969 - "cyprus cavo greko national park" • janeb13 - "barack obama official portrait president of the" • zombieite - "SELF RELIANCE" • lwpkommunikacio - "Bear Grylls" • Dean Hochman - "factory" • BasketStreaming - "LeBron James ha deciso di tornare a Cleveland, a casa" • Robb North - "simple" • m01229 - "HDR - Stony Man Mountaintop in Shenandoah National Park"

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