Shailene Woodley and Transcendentalism!


Shailene Woodley

“It takes bravery to be you, but once you do it for a little while you realize it’s so much easier than trying to be anyone else.”

Shailene Woodley, Divergent star and soon to be star of The Fault in Our Stars, is a true transcendental thinker. She tells her fans that “It takes bravery to be you, but once you do it for a little while you realize it’s so much easier than trying to be anyone else.” This quote also goes along with a quote from Emerson, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Be you and don’t be afraid to be you!




Thoreau and Emerson vs. Elton John



Elton John is one of the most famous musicians to ever walk the face of the earth. John, a self proclaimed bisexual at one point, revealed his true sexual orientation in an issue of The Rolling Stone. He revealed in this magazine that he was in fact a gay man. In a world that was always telling him to be one thing, and a world that had no respect for gays, he was definitely recognizing Emerson’s words, “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think.” He lived for himself and did not care what anyone said about him. Thoreau and Emerson would definitely give him a thumbs up!

Thoreau and Emerson v. Kim and Kanye


Kim and Kanye

Thoreau and Emerson would think that Kim and Kanye were WAY off. The transcendentalist, Thoreau says, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” From the news you see everyday, Kim and Kanye are way off from simple. Their home is a gigantic mansion, complete with reflection pools and fountains. They have one of the most outrageous lifestyles in the entire world. They have a T.V. show that releases inside information on their private life. Also, they like to keep up with the latest trends, whether it be in their careers or in the way that they live. Kanye changes his music style to fit what is in, and Kim changes her clothing style to fit whatever everyone else is wearing. Thoreau and Emerson would probably cry if they could see what the world has come to.

John Lennon and Transcendentalism!


“Well my instincts are fine
I had to learn to use them in order to survive
And time after time confirmed an old suspicion
It’s good to be alive
And when I’m deep down and out and lose communication
With nothing left to say
It’s then I realize it’s only a condition
Of seeing things that way
Intuition takes me there
Intuition takes me everywhere”

(John Lennon: Intuition: 1973)

John Lennon uses the obviously Transcendental idea of intuition and using it to find your way in life. These lyrics tell about how intuition helps him live and stay alive. Just knowing that something is going to happen even if you can’t explain it is also being self-reliant. Emerson talks about being self-reliant and an individual that can trust their instincts  in Self-Reliance when he says to “trust thyself”. You are trusting yourself with the idea of something happening without a possible explanation.

Music and Transcendentalism!


“We’ve got the right to choose and there ain’t no way we’ll lose it
This is our life, this is our song
We’ll fight the powers that be just, don’t pick our destiny ’cause
You don’t know us, you don’t belong”

(Twisted Sister: We’re Not Gonna Take It: 1984)

This song is about the right to fight for the freedom to be individuals and to be self-reliant without the judgement of anyone else. You have to be proactive in your fight of the handcuffs of society and try to be yourself. Thoreau says, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” He is saying the same thing! YOU have to fight against conformity and be yourself, not just sit there and be just like everyone else! Fight for yourself. Fight to be who YOU want to be and to be able to change your own destiny and not conform to anyone else’s ideas about your life.

The Lion King (and Transcendentalism!)


“Hakuna Matata: it means no worries.”

(Timon and Pumba)

This Disney quote is pretty self explanatory. Relax. Live your life. Don’t worry about anything. Be YOU. Take things one day at a time and live life to the fullest. Emerson says, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Meaning to live your life and not worry about anything. Make memories. Don’t worry about all of the things you need to do. Do what you want to do and be your own person. You only live once.

Wreck It Ralph!



“I am bad and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me. “

(Ralph and Bad Guy Anon)

Wreck It Ralph is a very Transcendental Disney movie. Although Ralph isn’t happy with who he is, he learns that he should. He and the other bad guys proclaim their Bad Guy Affirmation. The quote makes Ralph realize that he has to be himself and the only way to change his fate is to change yourself and the way you think about yourself. Thoreau says, “It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.”