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Walt Whitman Essay Examples

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❶He had recently published a philosophical essay, Democratic Vistas and the fifth edition of Leaves of Grass.

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Walt Whitman Essay
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After the war, he worked for a short time for the Department of the Interior but was fired when it was discovered that he was the author of the allegedly obscene Leaves of Grass. Rehired as a Justice Department clerk, Whitman remained in this position until he suffered a paralytic. He had recently published a philosophical essay, Democratic Vistas and the fifth edition of Leaves of Grass.

While he lived for nearly twenty more years, Whitman produced little new work of significance, focusing instead on revising and rearranging Leaves of Grass. Leaves of Grass , in its final version, contains poems Whitman wrote between and The major themes of the work include democracy, sexuality, death, and immortality; universality and the divine nature of the self are also concepts that thread their way through much of his work. The first edition contained twelve poems, which shocked the public with their realistic imagery and candid discussions of sexuality.

The volume received little praise from critics, with Ralph Waldo Emerson being the notable exception. In later editions of Leaves of Grass , Whitman created new poems, revised existing ones, added and changed titles, and thematically grouped the poems. In Drum-Taps and Sequel to Drum-Taps , Whitman recorded many of his war experiences and mourned the loss of nation and lives.

Drum-Taps was later incorporated into Leaves of Grass. While many critics concede that Whitman's concept of the self is of major significance in his work, V. Chari maintains that it is the "organizing principle" of Whitman's poetry. In analyzing Whitman's notion of the self, Chari maintains that to Whitman, the self was the true meaning and center of all existence, and that reality was not separate or different from the self.

Chari demonstrates both the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson's writing on Whitman and identifies the similarities between Whitman's views and Hindu philosophy. Additionally, while many critics observe a duality in Whitman's concept of the self the body versus the spirit, the individual versus the universal , Chari emphasizes the unified, monistic nature of Whitman's self.

Fred Carlisle concentrates on the relationship in Whitman's poetry between the self and both death and spirit. Carlisle argues that Whitman portrays death in a variety of ways: Throughout Leaves of Grass , Carlisle states, Whitman attempts to comprehend how death serves or links the self and the spirit. Like Chari and Carlisle, David Kuebrich is concerned with Whitman's spirituality and argues that, contrary to the conviction of numerous critics, Whitman intended to begin a "new religion" and promoted his readers' spiritual development by offering them an orderly vision linking religion with contemporary ideas on American culture.

Kuebrich outlines the way in which many modern critics address Whitman's spirituality, showing that they dismiss his religious language as "the symbolic manifestation of the distorted desires of the id," and that his spirituality is disregarded as his attempt, later in life, to fashion his earlier work as religious and prophetic.

Jimmie Killingsworth, Whitman's notion of the self is one that contains elements of the individual and the universal. Unlike Chari, Killingsworth highlights the duality of Whitman's concept of self, focusing on an apparent tension between singularity and diversity. Similarly, Mitchell Robert Breitwieser identifies in Whitman's poetry two distinct "I's" or "selves," the first "I" being a small, timid, individual, voice and the second "I" being a large, universal, affirming voice. Just as the nature and significance of Whitman's concept of the self is a battleground for many critics, so is the issue of the centrality and importance of the sexual, and homosexual, themes in his poetry.

Price maintains that sexual themes—such as voyeurism, nonprocreative sexuality, and female sexuality—and the way Whitman treats such topics, influenced writers of narrative fiction.

Price analyzes the way in which the approaches to sexual themes in the works of Hamlin Garland, Kate Chopin, and E. If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less. How to cite this page Choose cite format: American Civil War , Walt Whitman How about make it original? Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website.

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Sorry, but downloading is forbidden on this website. Without even going into their almost polar opposite personal lives, and concentrating solely upon their writings, one can still see the incredible diversity of American culture.

Their views were different…. Whitman included every worker that he could think of, including the women and the girls who stayed home and do house chores. Whitman pictured them as happy and contented people who put dignity and respect in labor. In the poem the…. The word imperturbe means care-free. The title of the poem, Me Imperturbe, means I am carefree.

The poem starts off with Walt standing out in nature. As Walt stands out in nature he feels as if he is the master of everything and still has confidence even as the world is in turmoil.

It reveals what Walt Whitman is and what he stands for. In this poem, the poet discovers himself and gives the boldest expression to his true and ever expanding poetic-self defying all the limitations. In fact, it is a voyage of the…. Both pioneered their own unique style of writing. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson both have been hailed as original and unique artists.


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SOURCE: "Whitman and American Indians," in Walt Whitman's Native Representations, Cambridge University Press, , pp. [ In the following essay, Folsom contends that, throughout .

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Walt Whitman, arguably America’s most influential and innovative poet, was born into a working class family in West Hills, New York, a village near Hempstead, Long Island, on May 31, , just thirty years after George Washington was inaugurated a s the first president of the newly formed United States. - Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" Walt Whitman's 'Song of Myself' is, on the most basic descriptive level, a really long poem. Whitman is clearly a poet with a lot to say, or at least with a lot of different ways to .

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Have you ever heard of Walt Whitman? I have. Walt Whitman can be considered one of the greatest writers because of his great attributions to literature, one his different view of life and two his unique writing methods in which you can observe from many of his works. Usually Whitman's writing grew. Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman is one of America’s most popular and most influential poets. The first edition of Whitman’s well-known Leaves of Grass first appeared in July of the poet’s thirty-sixth year.