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Word Count: 607
Some aspects of Transcendentalism can be applied in todays society while others have lost their relevance due to the changes of social and economic conditions since the time of Thoreau The Transcendentalists goal was to create a Utopia in America They believed in a society without rules in which you would be free to do whatever you wanted as long as it did not infringe on the freedom or well-being of others The concept of what is a Utopia is different for every person In todays densely populated countries it appears almost impossible to do anything that does not affect or infringe upon someone else The Transcendentalists also believed in the Jeffersonian philosophy that each generation should only be concerned with itself and its own well-being which would assure a solid foundation for the next generation I think this would not work in todays society because there are many things we could do to help our generation but would make later generations pay a price An example of this would be providing jobs for a strip-mining project to help the current generations economy while it destroys the environment for later generations Transcendentalist beliefs of adding onto the previous generations efforts would not work if each generation in helping itself is destroying the Earth The Transcendentalists also believed that one should live simply with few material possessions To explain this point we consider how much the sheer volume of material possessions has changed over the years When cave men roamed the earth an elaborate material possession might have been a wood club studded with rocks or an especially beautiful loincloth In the 1800s an automobile was a possession of great material value Thoreau had a small house 3 chairs a desk 2 suits and a few books He was able to sustain himself by growing his own food in the surrounding area The concept of what is considered necessary for a comfortable life has changed vastly
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