1034 words 5 pages
Rachel Smith
Transcendentalist Essay
7, November 2012

Features of Transcendentalism in Avatar
Transcendentalism is an American philosophy started in the 1800’s, which is still part of modern culture today. Transcendentalism was developed by Immanuel Kant, and was based on the idea that, in order to comprehend the nature of reality, it must first be observed and explored using the method of reasoning. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were fundamental figures in Transcendentalism. Using the ideas of these figures many movies, music, television shows, and plenty more things in pop culture are based off of Transcendentalist views. In the movie Avatar directed by James Cameron, the characters depend on nature to survive,
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The sense of interconnection and unity thrive in the film. Jake is balancing between two worlds - the world of the military mission he is part of, and the world whose goal is to defend the Na’vi people. As he gets more connected with the life of the Na’vi people, the sense of unity he has with them grows to a point of conflict and personal consequences. He goes against what he is suppose to do in the Pandora world, replacing his brother, and truly becomes attached to the Na’vi people becoming his own independent person. He learns that “Imitation is like suicide…” (Emerson, “Self-Reliance”, 393). He did not have the aspiration in life to be his brother, but to be his own self. Through the course of the movie, he truly learns who he really is in life, and not his brother’s clone. The movie Avatar shows many Transcendentalist views including the characters depending on nature to survive, believing G-d is a part of nature, and believing that each individual has significance. Through the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, one can learn many life lessons about the importance of nature, individuality, and G-d. “When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.” (Emerson). This quotes expresses many Transcendentalist beliefs all in one. Emerson explains that G-d creates people for a reason, which shows the importance of G-d in each


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