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The Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education was a short-lived utopian experiment in communal living Brook Farm a cooperative community established in 1841 in West Roxbury now part of Boston was a joint-stock company run by leaders of the philosophical movement known as transcendentalism Perspectives In American Literature Guide Online Brook Farm was formed to combine the thinker and the worker As thinkers mankind have ever divided into two sects Materialists and idealists the first class founding on experience the second on consciousness the first class beginning to think from the data of the senses the second class perceive that the senses are not final and say The senses give us representations of things but what are the things themselves they cannot tell Emerson 91 The guarantee of mental freedom and a society of liberal cultivated persons drew many of the great minds of the time together Within the framework of the Farm they lived worked and created as a communal entity Their relations with each other permitted a more wholesome and simpler life than could be led amid the pressure of competitive institutions Wilson 25 Brook Farm was one of many experiments in communal living that took place in the United States during the first half of the 19th century It is better known than most because of the distinguished literary figures and intellectual leaders associated with it Brook Farm was organized and virtually directed by George Ripley a former Unitarian minister and editor of The Dial a critical literary monthly Ripley was also a leader in the Transcendental Club an informal gathering of intellectuals of the Boston area His wife Sophia Dana Ripley a woman of wide culture and academic experience aided him According to the articles of agreement the project was financed by the sale of stock a purchaser of one share automatically becoming a member of the institute which was governed by a board of directors The profits if
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