One connection I found between the two was the idea that men should accept their life and the conditions surrounding it. Emerson states that we should “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you; the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.” Thoreau offers up the belief that “However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.” These both agree that people should take their individual lives as they are and not bemoan what they are given. They contend that each individual has been placed where they are by the greater being for a reason and therefore should be content.
The main idea from the first was that his reasoning for cutting himself off from society for some time and why he feels others would do well to follow the same pattern. He explains the different steps he took to achieve this, such as the refusal of farms. He also mentions that he went to see what he could learn from his experience. The conclusion is mainly his reasoning for leaving and what he gained in wisdom and experience.
One benefit with the lack of society would be not being afflicted with peer pressure, societal strife, and class of racial tensions, as well as other characteristics of society that are generally regarded in a negative light. I personally would miss some of my hobbies. I love drama and performing, so leaving society behind would mean giving that up. I would also miss the company of others. There are some things that society can do that an individual cannot, such as provide certain goods and jobs and comforts that come from industry.
I think a modern reader should take from Transcendentalism several different ideas. We should take the idea of being not too concerned with material possessions because that is what the world is focusing on now and I agree that it doesn’t do anything to truly better mankind. I also like the idea brought up in Thoreau’s conclusion in that we do not need to trouble ourselves with always keeping to the pace of others because people, especially students, are being pushed to a specific speed that is not helpful when they should go at their own speed.