In any attempt to succeed, perseverance and adhering to one’s own beliefs can provide a basis to reach one’s ultimate goal. Transcendentalism expresses the importance of individualism and persistence despite obstacles to promote the path of life. Walt Whitman’s section forty-six of “Song of Myself” and Fanny Palmer’s Westward the Course of Empire Makes its Way encompass transcendentalists ideals to emphasize individual and indirect travel on the path to Divine Light.
Walt Whitman and Fanny Palmer stress the importance of embarking on an individual journey, being independent from societal instruction. In section 46 of “Song of Myself”, Whitman explains to the reader, “not I, not anyone else can travel that road for you, you must travel it for yourself” (Whitman, § 46). Whitman’s explanation of life’s path demonstrates importance of individualism. He emphasizes that traveling the path without excessive ...view middle of the document...
Palmer’s painting shows a train’s path to darkness, but shows a free, uncontested river that leads to light. The train that has a path decided by others will lead to failure, but the path that one must find and travel individually by making unique decisions leads to success. Palmer’s painting stresses that the path guided completely by others will lead to defeat, but one’s individual journey will bring accomplishment and prosperity. Whitman and Palmer emphasize individualism as a key component for reaching success.
Whitman and Palmer also indicate that obstacles fill an indirect path to Divine Light, but perseverance through those challenges brings success. When Whitman feels satisfied, having no desire to further progress, his spirit explains that they must “level that lift to pass and continue beyond” (Whitman, § 46). Whitman explains how one must persevere despite challenges to reach success. In times when Whitman wants to quit progressing, the spirit clearly illustrates that persistence crucially contributes to success. In addition, Whitman later explains to the reader, “long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore, [but] now I will you to be a bold swimmer” (Whitman, § 46). Whitman encourages those who take the path to persevere through the challenges to reach success. He also acknowledges that when one faces obstacles during the journey, the option to succumb to failure is available, but he encourages bravery to persevere to reach success. Similarly, Fanny Palmer’s art exemplifies perseverance as vital to reach success. Palmer’s painting illustrates a path that consists of a winding river, mountainous terrain leading to light. Despite the obstacles that might discourage some from taking this path, completing it will bring success. Palmer also demonstrates how the straight path that never challenges the traveler leads to darkness, or failure. Palmer’s painting emphasizes the importance of persevering through challenges to completing goals. Whitman’s poem and Palmer’s painting encourage persistence through obstacles as a key component for reaching success.