In Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature, Emerson states "To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most person do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child." This relates to Transcendentalism in that it teaches its followers that it is important to let nature teach us what we need to know and the best way to view nature's beauty is how a child would. A child, because of their innocence, is able to find the beauty and appreciate nature unlike adults who are corrupted by society.
Another example of Transcendentalism is evidenced in the work by Ralph Waldo Emerson titled Self-Reliance. Emerson states "Society is a joint-stock company in which the members agree for the better securing of his bread to each share holder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. " This means that as individuals, we give up a lot of independence and liberty to have the security and protection that our societal institutions provide.
Henry David Thoreau also was greatly influenced by the Transcendentalism his movement. This is apparent in his work titled, Civil Disobedience. In there he states, " There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly." Thoreau is implying that the government needs to realize that its people are more important than its function in society. According to Thoreau, government will not be successful at governing its people until it recognizes that its people need to come first. Also in his work named Walden, he states " I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." He explains that it is important to learn all you can about life from nature so you don't regret it at the time of your death.
In Much Madness is divinest Sense by Emily Dickinson also relates to Transcendentalism in that it speaks of individuality. The lines "Much Sense--the starkest Madness--Tis the Majority" centers around being yourself and not caring what other people think. Some people may be considered crazy by society but they may actually be the sane ones.
Walt Whitman, who was influenced by Transcendentalism, states in his work When I heard the Learn'd Astronomer he states, "In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars." Whitman gets bored with the lecture he is listening to and leaves to look at the stars. It ties into Transcendentalism in that man should not try to dominate or interfere with nature, just experience it.