Although American Transcendentalism was a movement of the 1800s, its messages ring true even today. More specifically, the works of Thoreau and Emerson encourage us to evaluate the negative effects of blind allegiance, groupthink, and materialism, elements with which our society still grapples. But before we can levy such judgements about our culture, it is wise to engage with some of its popular forms!
Let’s dive into some pop-culture analysis! Click the link!
THE TASK: Watch the music video for Lorde’s Royals (posted above) and then respond to (all of) the following prompts by using the “Leave a Reply” feature at the bottom of the page. For full credit, your responses must consist of complete sentences, and should demonstrate active engagement.
A) What is the message of Royals? How is this conveyed through the lyrics and images in the music video? Cite specific details!
B) Compare and/or contrast Royals with one of the works of American Transcendentalism we’ve read thus far (Civil Disobedience, Walden, The American Scholar, Self-Reliance). In what ways do both creators (Lorde & Thoreau/Emerson) use their respective works to critique society?
C) What is your favorite music video (feel free to include a link)? How would this song/video be assessed when viewed through one of the tenets of American Transcendentalism (Individual Choice, Dangers of Materialism, Nature/Universal Mind, Pursuit of Knowledge)?