Families and Friendships

Elizabeth Addison

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Families and Friendships

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This article explains how personal relationships and family bonds played a crucial role in making Transcendentalism what it was. Personal attachments and attractions as well as relations by birth or marriage, were thickly interlaced. The article states that in the most intense years of the movement, its signal enterprises almost simultaneously revealed an intricate interplay of related persons and friends. Later on the formal associations petered out, but the individual Transcendentalists continued their relationships, tied by the bonds of blood or marriage and by friendship. The energy of their friendships helped them as they moved towards the reform movements of the midcentury. In the antislavery movement and the movement for women's rights, they worked together or supported each other's efforts. When conflicts arose, the need to keep those enterprises going and the desire to mend those personal relationships worked to make the movement what it was, revolutionary yet persistent, idealistic, and passionate.

Keywords: friendship; relationship; association; marriage; conflict

Article.  6581 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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