A Comparison Of Walt Whitman And Claude Mckay

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We all know America as a ‘land of opportunities’. In Walt Whitman’s America, we see a positive view that focuses on equality and freedom thus, represents America as a happy and peaceful place. And in McKay’s America he shows a negative view thus, we see the hate, anger, and discrimination. Both poets present their perspectives of America, but they are very different. By exploring the lives and works of both Walt Whitman and Claude McKay, we understand how America, the same country, can be a country to one where only love, law, and freedom prevails and to another it is full of hate and racism.
By looking at the lives of these poets, we can get a better understanding of their opinion about America. Whitman is regarded as one of America’s
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Walt Whitman writes about freedom and equality by using words like, “Centre of equal daughters, equal sons” (Whitman 1) and “Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love” (Whitman 4). He presents a strong and rich country; “Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich” (Whitman 3), which is equally dear to young and old; “All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old” (Whitman 2). On the other hand, Claude McKay’s poem "America" expresses the hardship of living in a country full of hate and McKay acknowledges this by using these words: "Sinks into my throat her tiger 's tooth "(Mckay 3) shows how the inequality of people affects the essence of citizens in America."Her vigor flows like tides into my blood, giving me strength erect against her hate." (McKay 5-6). Here McKay compares America’s potency to the blood inside his body which gives him strength to stand against the racism in the country. These lines are very vital in this poem because he expresses that strong racism prevailed in the American …show more content…
Whitman used the ‘Free Verse’ technique to write the poem, which uses no meter or rhyme words. It uses free speech. In free verse even the line length doesn’t matter, rather variation of length can create effects that are impossible to use in formal verse. Hence, we see a variation of length in Whitman’s poem too. Whereas, McKay used ‘Sonnet’, a poetic form originated in Italy in the 13th century and is usually 14 lines long (sonnets.org). It follows a pattern of rhyming ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. A typical sonnet consists of two parts that together form a compact argument as we see in McKay’s America. He depicted both love and anger towards America in one

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