Analysis Of Walt Whitman 's ' O Captain ! My Captain '

1083 WordsOct 20, 20165 Pages
O Depression! My Depression! The speaker in Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” faces a major inner struggle throughout the entirety of the poem, going through a few of the stages of grief, due to the fact that his captain had died. The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance, yet the speaker only goes through four of these. It takes three stanzas for the speaker to succumb to the harsh reality that his captain is deceased. Though not much is known about the speaker, we as readers know that the speaker feels a deep connection to this leader. By critically reading this poem, it is blatantly obvious that the speaker is Whitman going through the stages of grief after President Lincoln’s assassination. Before jumping into the poem, looking at the title and author of this poem serves a greater purpose than not. Walt Whitman, born in 1819, was born into a very proud American family. Whitman’s family loved America so much that his three brothers were named after presidents of the United States. After President Lincoln was assassinated, Whitman published “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”, about the assassination (“Walt Whitman”). Though it may or may not be evident while reading, “O Captain! My Captain!” parallels to Whitman’s earlier poem, on the subject of his sorrow towards Lincoln’s death. In “O Captain! My Captain!” not a single name is stated, but by having the knowledge of Whitman’s personal life, it is safe to
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