Song Of Myself By Walt Whitman Analysis

823 Words4 Pages
In section fifteen of Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself, Whitman makes working Americans the subject of most of his sentences while sparingly using concepts, instead of people, as subjects on other sentences. Most of the non-living subjects are closely tied to the concepts of Life and Death, Time, and Nature. By using nonliving conceptual subjects to contrast concrete images of working Americans, he demonstrates that though working Americans control society, Life and Death, Time, and Nature control working Americans. Most of the lines depict American citizens in different roles, all unique puzzle pieces completing their society, even if their impact is more idle than ambitious. For example, Whitman describes the idler members of society as “the married and unmarried children [who] ride home to their thanksgiving dinner” and “the lunatic [who] is carried at last to the asylum,” but they are a part of the whole nonetheless. Whitman describes more ambitious people as “the deckhands [who] make fast a steamboat” and “the floormen [who] are laying the floor,” in contrast to the idler people, but still just as equal in importance. All of the living, working American subjects of the sentences hold an equal value in Whitman’s eyes, but in contrast, the non-living subjects, though used infrequently, represent higher powers over society. The first concept Whitman describes with non-living subjects in sentences is the cyclicity of life and death. Whitman mentions “The malformed
Get Access