In His First Edition Of The Poem, “Song Of Myself”, Whitman’S

1255 WordsFeb 25, 20176 Pages
In his first edition of the poem, “Song of Myself”, Whitman’s poem takes a bold move when it strictly focuses on the glorification of himself. Whitman’s use of arrogant diction helps convey a condescending tone that suggests the speaker is superior to others. However, this egotistical belief is complicated in his poem when his use of inclusive diction invokes a friendly welcoming environment. Through his Speaker, Whitman uses these shifts of diction to present contradictions which allow the reader to encounter multiple emotions. At the same time, his use of free verse structure invokes a sense of unpredictability that literally allows the reader to encounter the multiplicity of everyday experiences in life. Hence, the text promotes…show more content…
In these lines, the idea of expanding the United States into new territory is alluding to the Manifest Destiny belief that American culture was superior to that of any other inhabitant. In fact, the speaker suggests that he is full of power and on his way to conquer and spread his “ordinances” to the whole earth. One important thing to note is that this is probably the most egotistical and condescending tone one can take on another group. Most importantly, the reader is left with a bit of annoyance towards the fact that the speaker feels that it is his/her duty to bring order in the world. However, this egotistical belief is complicated in his poem when the speaker shifts diction from arrogant to inclusive, which invokes a friendly and welcoming tone. Moreover, Whitman uses these shifts of diction to allow the reader to encounter a new emotion. The reader cannot neglect the third line that states, “[f]or every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (21). Right from the start, the speaker wants to make sure that everyone is feeling equal. Even if the poem distinguishes the “I”

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