Diction In I Hear America Singing

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Various songs have been sung about America and how beautiful she is, but rarely is there a poem that describes the voices of those songs. In I Hear America Singing (1860), Walt Whitman conveys his concept of America as a unified nation. His poem explores the differing sort of people that Whitman contributes to creating America. They are exuberant, and strong. Although the poem is focused on the people, the title of the poem, I Hear America Singing, shows that Whitman thinks of these people as ‘America.’ These are the people that represent everything America is, in present day (1860,) with their traits and workmanship. Whitman uses description and diction to illustrate what he sees when he hears America sing, as a blended nation.
Whitman uses
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“As” is used to explicate that these citizens of America sing and work, at the same time. This conjunction demonstrates how Whitman is clarifing that he sees America as an integrated democracy. While “as” is repeated multiple times, Whitman also uses repetition with the word “the.” “The” is used at the beginning of 72% of each line in Whitman’s poem. This technique, when used in poetry, is called an anaphora. Anaphora’s are a technique that adds emphasis to the text at hand, and in I Hear America Singing, the emphasis creates the sound of a song when spoken aloud. The harmony that is created with the term “the” shows that Whitman views America as being a cohesive country that can multitask to each’s best …show more content…
This use of (ing) adds an airy and sing-songy tone to the poem, which shows how Whitman feels his fellow Americans are spirited and carefree. Whitman is again seen using diction to embellish his ideas of America, when he utilizes alliteration in lines 2, 5, and 6. Alliteration is used as Whitman creates a strong pulse that vibrates throughout the poem with the use of “B” and “D” words. This is seen when Whitman uses the words “blithe,” “beam,” “boatman,” “deckhand,” and “deck.” Pulse is necessary for the poem because it exemplifies the beat that America is singing to. When one reads it with exaggeration on those initial “Bs” and “Ds,” the upbeat rhythm is evident. In a sense, Whitman is “letting freedom ring,” with the tone and beat that is created with alliteration and

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