Transcendentalism In The Glass Castle

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Transcendentalism and the Glass Castle “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines ( Emerson paragraph 7).” When Emerson wrote this in his essay, Self Reliance, he meant that man should be open to new opinions despite how it may conflict with past opinions, thus ridding himself of a foolish consistency. Jeannette Wall’s memoir, The Glass Castle, reflects Emerson’s teachings on nonconformity and consistency. While Emerson teaches people transcendentalist values using lengthy discourses, Walls uses her own life story to show people that nonconformity is not necessarily a negative thing. Despite the fact that both respective works were written in different time periods and…show more content…
Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events (Emerson paragraph 2).” Jeannette Walls’s mental growth during the course of her story is a prime example of transcendentalism present in her memoir. In the beginning, Jeannette is unaware of the problems within her family, especially those problems pertaining to her wild father. As she grows, she begins to see her father and mothers’ imperfections more clearly as well as realizing just how different her family is compared to other families. While this dismays her at times, Walls grows strong by relying on herself and learning to accept that while her past cannot be changed, she can take her future into her own hands. In this way, Walls goes from a starry-eyed child who blindly worships her father to an adult who sees the true nature of the people surrounding her. An example of this is when she admits to her father that he will never build the glass castle and that even if he did, she would not be around to live in it. In this way, Jeannette learns to take control of life and choose her own path. Walls’s ability to tell her own story is transcendental in the very sense that she breaks free from the preexisting narrative paths that most stories are told from and tells the truth of her life regardless of the criticism it may be met
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