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The first lessons of the English class reveal John Keating's unorthodox teaching methods, freethinking and non-conformity. In one class Keating asks Neil Perry to read the introduction from their poetry textbook. Neil proceeds, "Understanding Poetry, by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard. Ph.D." He continues to a paragraph that reads "If the poem's score for perfection is plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness." He goes on with examples and Keating draws the graph on the blackboard. And then Keating faces the class and says "Excrement! That is what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard. We're not laying pipe, we're talking about poetry." Then he has the students rip out the entire introduction. "Armies of academics going forward, measuring poetry", says Keating. "No, we will not have that here. Now in my class you will learn to think for yourselves again," again picking on the transcendental principle of freethinking from. Thoreau writes in , "If one listens to the faintest but constant suggestions of his genius, which are certainly true, he sees to not what extremes, or even insanity it may lead him; and yet that way, as he grows more resolute and faithful, his road lies." (265). In his controversial speech, "The American Scholar," Emerson reinforces this principle of freethinking with the recurring theme of "Man Thinking," encouraging the student to learn to think for themselves. There he states that "the eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead." Thought should be free and should not be weighed down by historic dogma but rather new and creativity. In harmony with Keating's views Emerson says "Books are for the scholar's idle times" (87) and Whitman challenges the student in a short poem to pursue self-development:"Rest not until you rivet and publish yourself of your own Personality". Finally relating the issue to Thoreau, he writes in "Life without Principle "Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself-a hypethral temple consecrated to the service of the Gods?" (367). All of these quotes are central to the idea of individualism in the writings of the authors and the movie.

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Before introducing the unit, the instructor will present two concepts that will later prove vital: the taking of detailed, metacognitive notes using a double-entry journal, and regular reflective journaling at a specific place in nature. The unit properly begins with an introduction to the philosophy of Transcendentalism and to Henry David Thoreau. Students will undertake close readings of “Civil Disobedience” and excerpts from Walden. They will examine both their own essential principles and those of Thoreau, and compare them with those of other Transcendentalist writers. They will participate in a group presentation and a Socratic Seminar. Finally, they will complete an essay as the culminating activity for the entire Transcendentalism unit.

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Below is an essay on Compare And Constrast Emerson And Thoreau It can be inferred from his essay that Emerson Whitman Emerson Comparison; Compare Contrast.
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Looks at the problem of selfhood in Emerson's essay and relates that to relevance today, especially in religious belief in our increasingly-secular age.
A short essay, some selections from the essay, and some excellent questions for thinking about Emerson's ideas.
A short introduction to American culture about 1841, looking at Emerson's essay and its relationship to ideas of democracy, culture and the masses.
A Unitarian Universalist minister muses about the position of Emerson in that faith today, where he's often considered a "prophet of religious liberalism." - about the book and its author

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Emerson and Dickinson This Essay Comparing Emerson and Dickinson and other ..

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We take what our ancestors and others before.
A Comparison of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Beliefs concerning Simplicity, the Value and Potential of Our Soul, and Our Imagination.
A Comparison of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson's Beliefs.