September 18, 2014
 Create
your own personal motto.
To get started, consider the traits
or resources that helped you solve
a difficult problem, or the best
advice you have ever given a friend.
Use your answers to develop a
personal motto that is short and to
the point.
 An
intellectual movement that
emphasized the dignity of the
individual and advocated a
simple, mindful life.
Transcendentalists wanted to
transcend-or go beyond- the
limitations of the senses and everyday
“transcendent forms” of truth exist
beyond reason and experience; every
individual is capable of discovering this
truth on his or her own, through
intuition. A
A conviction that people are inherently
good and should follow their own
beliefs, however controversial they may
A belief that humankind, nature, and
God are all interconnected. conviction
that people are
Aphorism: a brief statement, usually
one sentence long, that expresses a
general principle or truth about life.
“Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to
that iron string.”
The nicest thing about the future is
that is always starts tomorrow.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Entered Harvard when he was only 14
Was named class poet at Harvard- but only
after seven other students had refused the
Published Nature, one of his most famous
works, anonymously
1. What elements of transcendentalism are
reflected in the painting?
2. Re-read lines 1-11. Based on these lines,
what inferences can you make about the theme
of this selection?
3. Transcendentalists believed in disregarding
external authority in favor of one’s own
experiences and intuition. What is implied by
the word sacred in line 21?
4. According to Emerson in lines 24-31, why is
it so hard to follow his ideal of nonconformity?
1. Which aspect of transcendentalism
thought is reflected in lines 12-19?
Explain your answer.
 2. Emerson says that, “nature always
wears the colors of the spirit.” What
mood does this painting convey?
Describe the elements of the painting
that establish this mood.
“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that
iron string.” (line 6)
“Whoso would be a man, must be a
nonconformist.” (line 12)
“Nothing is at the last sacred but the integrity
of your own mind.” (line 14)
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not
what the people think.” (line 24)
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of
little minds . . .” (line 40)
“To be great is to be misunderstood.” (line
Aversion-A strong dislike
Decorum-Good taste in conduct or
Exhilaration-A feeling of high spirits or lively
Importune- To ask urgently or repeatedly; to
annoy; to annoy or trouble
Nonconformist- One who does not follow
generally accepted beliefs, customs, or
Occult-Secret or hidden from view