Abolitionism In The Leaves Of Grass By Walt Whitman

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Authors during the antebellum period took a personal interest in finding possible solutions to various social issues occurring in their lifetimes. One of the biggest issues writers sought to resolve was racial and slavery tensions between different social groups. Abolitionists and scholars used literature to address African Americans’ concerns and work within the public eye to better others lives. While authors like Ralph Emerson and Henry David Thoreau choose to describe a specific social issue and its’ association with nature, others as Walt Whitman explore explaining interconnectivity to answer the problem of racial relationships. In The Leaves of Grass, Whitman depicts how people have more in common with each other than they realize and…show more content…
Leaves of Grass does a great job of showing how body parts can be utilized to display the similarities between people. A clear and effective moment is when Whitman stated, “You settled your head athwart my hips and gently turned upon me, / and parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my barescript…” First concepts to note in the quote is Whitman's diction, he uses words like ‘gently’, ‘settled’, ‘plunged’ all of which implies a progress people undergo when pursuing an interaction with others. In the case of slavery in 1800s United States, frequent interactions occur between Caucasian citizens of different social groups and limiting communication between slaves and masters. For slaves and masters, a forceful sexual relationship would occur and cause biracial children to be the result of the affair. Biracial children were not largely accepted by their fellow African slaves, nor by their white family counterparts because society associated addressed mix-race kids as abominations. As a result, pure-blood African slaves strengthen their connections to one another through racial and color alignment. Though the degree of racial exclusion between Caucasian, mix-race, and slaves varied in local areas, certain sentiments continually appear to bring groups together and foster areas for…show more content…
Even though shared the identity between the various working classes and races was not visibly apparent, the characteristics were established and integrated into daily life. Characteristics like working hard, respecting superior officers, and avoid challenging the current social order. Division amongst social groups may benefit the upper-class to remain their status, but diversity does not have to stop groups from treating each other with respect and understanding that they all have a similar identity. At the end of the day, everyone is connected to each
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