Rhetorical Techniques In Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

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“I celebrate myself and sing myself,” these opening remarks in the poem “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman set a clear tone for much of his work. One of the main focuses during Walt Whitman’s lifetime in the nineteenth century was put on humans and their minimally understood traits. As one of the few lead poets of his time, Whitman was well practiced in writing about major topics; additionally, promoting inquiry and recognizing not often expressed benefits, notably, his works regarding human traits. Using anaphora, rhetorical devices, diction, and imagery, Whitman created the tones of awe and gratefulness in order to promote appreciation for human qualities. Uncommonly practiced, anaphora is the repetition of an initial word or phrase at the …show more content…
As previously discussed, a desire for connections is one trait Whitman points out which most other authors do not, despite its pivotal role in our lives. Early within the poem “Whoever you are holding me now” Whitman provides an example of such, questioning, “Who is he that would become my follower? Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?” (Whoever 5-6). Clearly and openly addressing this topic of companionship and connectiveness, Whitman shows his obvious interest and suggests how affections ‘work’ at the same time. In a similar fashion, he also introduces thought about the human mind and its constant impact on its beholder. “Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? Have you reckon’d the whole earth much? Have you practis’d so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?” (Song 30-32). Aside from the obvious and repetitive intention of promoting inquiry Whitman also frames these questions the way that he does in order to advert attention to the brain, allocating this practice to occur, and to leave the reader with an impression of how “proud” he is, even in awe, of this function. A similar physical function that Whitman regards with interest is the seemingly endless possibilities of reproduction. This attribute is brought about as he speaks of the similarities between people then contrasts with differences, asking, “How do you know who shall come from the offspring of his offspring through the centuries? Who might you find you have come from yourself, if you could trace back through the centuries?” (I Sing 115-116). Reproduction and genealogy, similar to the mind seem to hold vast complexities and as a result, hold no surprise at an author’s awe and gratefulness over such. In addition to promoting

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