Transcendentalism Pop Culture Project JEsse Rodriguez

Non Conformity

“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, "Non Conformity"

In the movie Castaway, Chuck Noland lived a life of conformity and he was just like everyone else. Noland had a job like everyone else and lived a life like everyone else. When Noland was on his plain for work it ended up crashing and killing everyone except Noland, he was the only survivor. Noland went on a life raft and passed out. When he woke up he was on an island by himself with no help. While Noland was on the island for 4 years it showed him a lot of things about being away from others. When Noland returned to regular life he said what kept him alive was this, “I gotta keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” While he lived in on the island it showed him what nonconformity was and that when he came back to regular life he learned that he needed to keep moving forward and not live life down because anything can happen. Lastly it showed him human interactions were the key to survival.


“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good,no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till”

-Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

In the movie The Martian, Mark Watney ended up getting stuck on Mars by himself. The first day he was stuck there and he recorded himself saying, “At some point, everything’s going to go south on can either accept that, or you can get to work.” With that Watney planted potatoes and extended his food rations that were left. Watney never gave up when he failed he just tried again. He relied on himself for his own survival with many clever ideas in the film. He planted the potatoes seeds and that gave him food. This is self-reliance because Watney relied on himself for his own survival and did not get help by others. He also relied on the resources he had and used them carefully to not waste them.

Importance Of Nature

“Though it is now dark, the wind still blows and roars in the wood… and the repose is never complete. The wildest animals do not repose, but seek their prey now…” (Thoreau)

-Thoreau, "Importance Of Nature"

The book The Giving Tree, shows the Importance of nature by showing how humans take nature for granted. In the book a boy wants a lot of things from the tree from it branches, to its apples and to the trees wood. In the book the Importance of nature applies to a lot of things in real life like how humans use up resources until they're all gone and in the end no body ends up gaining anything from it. This books shows that things should not be used up but preserved and how nature should be respected. Another thing the books shows is that when nature is gone and all of nature is destroyed both humans and nature would lose. "I wish that I could give you something... but I have nothing left. I am an old stump. I am sorry..." "I don't need very much now," said the boy, "just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired."

Favoring Intuition Over Reason

Walden, “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”

-Thoreau, "Intuition Over Reason"

In the movie The Sandlot, Their is Intuition over reason because the Benny Rodriguez enjoyed playing baseball a lot. Baseball was Benny Rodriguez's passion and he stayed with it unlike the other kids. The reason as to why he stayed with it is because Babe Ruth told him in his sleep,“Remember kid, there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, Follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.’’ This is why Benny Rodriguez kept at his goal and achieved no matter what anyone said or did to try to make him change his mind. It showed that he stood with his goal because almost to the end of the movie he was playing with the Dodgers.

“Our life is 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!”

-Walden, Henry David Thoreau "Simplified Life"

In the movie Fight Club, Brad Pitt says, "Life is limited to working for money to buy things we don't need and it's a waste of life." Brad Pitt lives a simple life and that means he does not have stuff that wants but what he needs like a bed, food, water. To Brad Pitt life should only be for living not wanting. With a simplified life you are not forced to work to buy things that you want but to need. Lastly to Brad Pitt a simplified life is not having to waste time paying off money for the stuff that you want.

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