Emerson vs Thoreau: Transcendentalist Battle

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were two famous Transcendentalists in the mid-1800’s.  They hung around the New England area – where Eyewire HQ is located!

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Emerson is sometimes considered the “father” of transcendentalism, and Thoreau was a student of his.

Emerson was a prolific essayist, with his most famous essay titled “Self-Reliance.”  In this essay Emerson concludes that individualism is an important goal to strive for, and that conformity with institutions such as government, religious institutions, and and other organized groups should be discouraged.  He encourages solitude to reflect on one’s self, and belief in your own moral compass above the prevailing social mores of the time.

Thoreau was writer and poet, whose focus was mainly on the importance of a connection with nature and living simply.  One of his most famous works is “Walden” which is a reflection on his life at Walden Pond.  Like Emerson, Thoreau focuses on the importance of self-reliance.  Thoreau believes this end can be obtained by minimizing consumerism, and focusing on your connection to yourself and nature rather than trying to outwardly improve your environment.  Thoreau is sometimes considered an anarchist, early environmentalist, and was an active abolitionist.  Thoreau also published an essay titled “Civil Disobedience” in which he argued for disobedience to an unjust government.

Pick your transcendentalist and let the competition begin!

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The usual bonuses

Earn 5,000 points – 2,500 bonus
Earn 15,000 points – 5,000 bonus
Earn 25,000 points – 10,000 bonus
For every 25,000 points above 25,000 – 5,000 bonus
Member of winning team (if you’ve scored at least 2,500 points) – 10,000 bonus
Highest scorer on each team – 5,000 bonus
Player with #1 overall score – 10,000 bonus
Player with #2 overall score – 5,000 bonus
Player with #3 overall score – 2,500 bonus

Artwork by Zoe Gillette