Symbolism In Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

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Song of Myself “Song of Myself”, which is famous for “representing the core of Whitmans poetic vision” (Greenspan) was written in 1881 by Walt Whitman. This poem is baffling to many people because of both the symbolism and wordplay. Walt Whitman begins by introducing the subject in the poem, which is himself and he goes on by celebrating this theme. Whitman utilizes words such “I”, “myself” and his inner soul to generate a feel of being and depiction in specific sects of the poem. Whilst it seems as though the main theme of the poem is himself, himself actually resembles a symbol for the people of America as a whole. Whitman is of the opinion that everybody including animal’s experiences are shared amongst one another. For Whitman, no individual …show more content…
Throughout “Song of Myself”, Whitman uses a friendly and inviting tone. He seems eager to become close and help everyone he meets. In stanza forty, Whitman uses a nondiscriminatory tone in an attempt to be a shoulder to lean on and a protector. “Man or woman, I might tell how I like you, but cannot...I do not ask who you are, that is not important to me,/ You can do nothing and be nothing but what I will infold you...Sleep-I and they keep guard all night,/ Not doubt not decease shall dare to lay finger upon you,/ I have embraced you, and henceforth posses you to myself” (Whitman). In this stanza, he is ignoring what the general public thinks of the stranger in this poem and is throwing out a helpful hand to them. Another stanza where Whitman portrays friendship in a non judgmental tone is in stanza nineteen. “This is the meal equally set, this is the meal for the natural hunger,/ It is for the wicked just the same as the righteous, I make appointments/ with all,/ I will not have a single person slighted or left away,” By analyzing this stanza, it is believed that Whitman is trying to connect to others by the gesture of a friendly dinner invitation. He is inviting people regardless of color, appeal, or status. In this stanza, he continues to describe the differences of his guests then comments that “there shall be no difference between them and the rest.” (Whitman). Also in this stanza, he makes …show more content…
By using the terms “I”, “myself”, and “soul” to refer to others, equalizing the aspects of every being, and forming bonds, Walt Whitman builds connections with the “common humanity” (Burroughs). “The lesson of this poem in not merely on in the philanthropy or benevolence,it is one in practical democracy, in the value and sacredness of the common, the near, the universal; it is that the quality of common humanity.” (Burroughs) This poem, is to show the American people the quality of each and individual American person. Whitman has so many beliefs that would create the “American dream” society is looking for. Some of these opinions being, everyone is equal and everyone has an understanding and connection with one another. As a result of these views, “Song of Myself” is described as “a kind of wondrous filtration system, absorbing all the disturbing, vicious aspects of American Life and creatively combining them with other more positive ones” (Reynolds) In sum, Walt Whitman’s beliefs about humanity are voiced through the poem, “Song of Myself”, and as a result of these opinions, he makes a connection with the American people to create a better life. “Whitman would not be the schoolmaster of the people, he would be their prophet and savior”

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