Walt Whitman Transcendentalism

Decent Essays
Walt Whitman: A Transcendentalist Poet
During the 19th century, a new movement of philosophy and literature rose across America. This intellectual movement known as Transcendentalism focused on individualism, nature, oversoul, and strongly encouraged a simple, mindful life. Everyday people were encouraged to pursue truth through nature, personal experiences, and their own reasonings, not conform to society. Themes of transcendentalism were not limited to those directly part of the movement. The themes were prominent in other authors’ writings as well, specifically Walt Whitman. Although Whitman is not considered a father of the movement, his writings suggest he played a role in furthering these ideas. Walt Whitman wrote poems such as “Song of Myself” and “I Hear America Singing”, both which clearly reflect Transcendentalist beliefs. Walt Whitman should
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In “Song of Myself,” Whitman uses nature, specifically grass, to symbolize various aspects of humanity. Whitman uses the grass to represent America by referring to it as a “uniform hieroglyphic” (“Song of Myself” 20). Whitman is trying to express that grass doesn’t grow any differently depending on who it’s growing for, whether it be white or black, rich or poor, or any group of people. The grass grows where it pleases and by doing this everyone receives the same value. Whitman believes that grass can be found everywhere and is a joining force for all humans. Every person can take part in loving nature because it grows all over the earth, Through this metaphor, Whitman shows appreciation for nature like a Transcendentalist. Whitman also uses nature to explain his idea of life after death. Whitman describes how at the end of his life he will give himself to nature and become a part of it. He gives himself to the grass emphasizing his belief that humans are interconnected with nature. His belief that humans will be returned back to nature after death shows his appreciation for
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