The concept of transcendentalism revolves around self-reliance and individuality. Transcendentalism is a philosophy based on the five primary ideas that construct it. The main ideas are intuition versus reason and logic, individuality, moral enthusiasm, democracy, and nature. The birth of transcendentalism was in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. The evolution of the philosophy occurred in hopes to define America by providing a new and fresh idea. Many authors have expressed their views on transcendentalism through essays, passages, and poems. Included in this essay are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Both authors have stated their opinion of the importance of self-reliance and individuality. Emerson wrote an in-depth piece on the philosophy, while Thoreau wrote an essay in which he described living in solitude deep in the woods with nothing but himself and his own mind. Collectively, the two authors shared the same opinions and ideas towards transcendentalism.
Self-reliance is a topic that is an immense part of transcendentalism. The general idea of self-reliance is the capability of depending solely on your own self as an individual, opposed to relying on another. Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that by being self-reliant, the unnecessary details and problems in life would disappear. You would not need to worry about what another person believes or tells you because by relying on yourself, the desire for acceptance would be absent. "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide". If one is living based on relying on another, then one is not truly living. .