Transcendentalist Communities

Sterling F. Delano

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195331035
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Transcendentalist Communities

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)



This article is about the major similarities and differences between Brook Farm and Fruitlands, America's two celebrated utopian communities with roots in Transcendentalism. Accounts of them invariably stress their differences rather than their similarities because the differences were so obvious. While Fruitlands had a brief existence and did not attract many people, Brook Farm attracted hundreds of people. An important and substantive difference between Brook Farm and Fruitlands was the Transcendental impulse that inspired each community. At Fruitlands, Alcott and Lane followed extreme forms of Transcendentalist beliefs. Despite the differences, the entire Alcott family visited Brook Farm several occasions. Their idea of education shows the similarities which existed between them. The article, as a whole, helps to provide a better understanding of the complex nature of Transcendentalism.

Keywords: Brook Farm; communities; utopian; Transcendental impulse; Amos Bronson Alcott

Article.  5064 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century)

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