What are specific connections between Seedfolks and Transcendentalism?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one specific connection between Fleischman's work and the theory of Transcendentalism is the location of the subjective.  Both in form and message, Fleischman's work places a great deal of emphasis on the subjective experience.  The reader understands the novel's development through the individual voices of different characters.  Each character appropriates the world in accordance to their own subjectivity.  This process happens through emotional understanding and connection.  It is in these two realms- subjectivity and emotion- where Transcendentalism could connect to the novel.  At the same time, the fact that the natural process of growth and nature, itself, becomes an important backdrop to the novel is vitally important.  The idea of the gardens represent different realities to different characters.  Transcendentalists would love the idea that nature, itself, is a part of human emotional growth and development, similar to plants, themselves.