H. Language Arts 11 – 2nd Period
18 December 2012
Be More Like The Man You Were Made To Be: Transcendentalism in Mumford and Sons, “Sigh No More”
The era of transcendentalism is filled with a new way of thinking. A way that provokes a man’s inner thoughts and encourages them to be set free, and expressed to those around him. A step further from the previous movement of Romanticism, Transcendentalist writers expresses this sense of individuality in their works, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as many more. Emerson’s literature lives to inspire individuals to transcend- to rise above, to pass beyond limits. Though there is no direct relation between Marcus Mumford, writer of the song “Sigh No More”, and Emerson, the song clearly reflects this, a common thought of transcendentalist thinkers.
A good portion of what Transcendentalist thinkers were trying to get across is that you don’t have to be afraid of what’s going to happen if you speak out, or go against the flow of society, all you really need to worry about is being who you are, because without that, you will never truly know what you were put on this earth to be. Marcus Mumford says in his song , “Love; it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free, be more like the man you were made to be.” If you don’t go out into the world wearing your heart on your sleeve, your life is pointless, and you can never know why you think the way you think, or why you are whom you are, and more importantly, you can never amount to anything significant. Ralph Waldo Emerson says in ‘Self Reliance’, “The power which resides in man is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried” (533). This line is nearly a direct translation to Mumford’s line, in the way that, both artists are trying to get one common point across to the audience, and that is that you need to be yourself to fully experience the things...
Cited: Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Self Reliance.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Shorter 7th ed. Ed. Baym, Nina. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. 532-550. Print.
Mumford and Sons. “Sigh No More.” Sigh No More. Island, Glassnote. 2009
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