Walt Whitman Essay Prompts

Walt Whitman Essay Prompts-13
He saw democracy as an inseparable attribute of Americaness.However, the America he lived in was desperately fractured amongst differing factions with different opinions on the definition of “democracy”....

He saw democracy as an inseparable attribute of Americaness.However, the America he lived in was desperately fractured amongst differing factions with different opinions on the definition of “democracy”....

His experiences during this time are reflected in the groups of poems titled “Children of Adam,” celebrating heterosexual love, and “Calamus,” celebrating homosexual love.

The latter group made Whitman a precursor of American gay literature.

[tags: Walt Whitman on Democracy ] - Walt Whitman, born in May of 1819, grew up with an affinity for America.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Whitman moved to Brooklyn as a child in hopes that his father would find work in the city.

Whitman traveled to Virginia during the Civil War to tend to his wounded brother, George. C., to help the wounded and dying, supporting himself with a series of bureaucratic jobs.

His experiences led to a series of poems reflecting on the war and on the death of President Abraham Lincoln; Whitman later incorporated these poems, which included one of his greatest, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” into the larger scheme of Leaves of Grass.

The speaker directly addresses the reader with sweeping pronouncements and challenges. As we read through “Song of Myself,” with its sermonlike exhortations to see the world in a new, all-embracing way, we must ask the poet to identify the source of his authority and ask why he thinks that verbal communication can make his vision our own. This question reverberates throughout Leaves of Grass and throughout much of American history. ABOUT WALT WHITMANWalt Whitman was born in West Hills, Long Island, New York, in 1819.

Images accumulate for pages at a time, suggesting a desire to encompass the entire range of human experience. I too am untranslatable, / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world” (ll. If he himself is “untranslatable,” what are we to make of “Song of Myself” and the other poems in Leaves of Grass, which can be viewed as a kind of translation of the poet’s direct experience into language that he presumably expects the reader to understand? One of the most compelling aspects of “Song of Myself” is the poet’s comprehensive and even oceanic sense of the “self.” He repeatedly collapses the dualities through which we ordinarily see the world—high and low, good and evil, male and female, I and you. In the early 1820s, his family moved to Brooklyn, and Whitman frequently took the ferry across the East River to visit Manhattan.

Do the recurrent themes and images, as well as the separate sections of the works, move forward with a discernible purpose? there are millions of suns left, / You shall no longer take things at second or third hand . Like the growing, vibrant country in which Whitman lived, the world of his poetry is populated with individuals from all walks of life. Whitman’s first occupation, at the age of twelve, was in the printing trade, and, throughout his life, Whitman insisted on being deeply involved in the design and layout of his books.

Just after “Song of Myself” begins, the speaker asks the reader a short series of questions that challenge some common assumptions about language and literature: “Have you practiced so long to learn to read? There is a mocking quality to the speaker’s use of the words “practiced” and “proud,” as if he intends to offer something direct and unmediated to the reader. At the same time, the speaker in “Song of Myself” subsumes these individuals to some greater idea in which individuality is dissolved. From printing, he made an easy transition to journalism.

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