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Daisy Anti-Transcendentalism (1836-1860)

Anti-Transcendentalism, also called dark romanticism, is a literary movement that focused mostly on the dark side of the human society.[1] It came around the same time Transcendentalism came. Transcendentalism being a sort of Utopian place. Anti-Transcendentalism showed what it really looked like. The writer's beliefs were: That each human spirit had a potential destructiveness In individual truths, but not universal truths, and also that the truths of existance are deceitful and disturbing that human nature has an original sin and that evil is active in the universe Reasons/ causes Opposed the optimism and nave idealism of the transcendentalists Dwelt on the guilt and remorse over past sins Discontented with current circumstances in America (poverty/unjust and cruel treatment of factory workers, poor educational system, lack of womens rights, slavery) so they focused on moral dilemmas and societys ills Focused on the dark side of humanity and the evilness and guilt of sin unhappy with current circumstances in America poverty unjust treatment of factory workers poor educational system lack of womens rights slavery (south) Melville, Hawthorne, Poe, Crane Tammy Ahearne Feb. 11 2009

No universal truths, only individual truths. Man is born with existing sin. Man is the most destructive force in nature. One can only find god through work and life experience. No purgatory, only heaven and hell. Rebelled against the idea that man is basically good

Anti-transcendentalists rejected (the Transcendentalists) outlook on humanity. They declared such optimism nave and unrealistic. The anti-transcendentalists reflected a more pessimistic attitude, focusing on man's uncertainty and limited potential in the universe: Nature is vast and incomprehensible, a reflection of the struggle between good and evil. Humans are innately depraved and must struggle toward goodness. In fact, goodness is actually attainable only for a few, but evil is a huge morass into which any can slip. Sin is an active force, not merely the absence of good; they do believe, on some level, that the devil exists. Finally, because nature is the creation and possession of God, humans cannot interpret or understand any symbolism it may contain. Intercession between the common man and higher authority is required in heaven and on earth. Anti-transcendentalists feared that people who desired complete individualism would give in to the worst aspects of man's nature. Without external constraint, such as societal mores, people are free to wreak havoc, motivated by immediate need and the desire for sensory gratification. However, such free-wheeling chaos can arise only if Transcendentalism ignores the ultimate point of the philosophy: the call to rise above-transcend-- "animalistic" impulses in the journey from the arena of rational but flawed human thought to the perfection of the spiritual realm. Brulator, Meg. Legacy of Transcendentalism: Religion and Philoshophy. American Transcendentalism Web. 1999. Virginia Commonwealth University.
Reaction to transcendental movement