walt whitman Essay

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Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was a follower of the two Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson and
Henry David Thoreau. He believed in Emerson and Thoreau’s Trascendentalist beliefs.
Whitman believed that individualism stems from listening to one’s inner voice and that one’s life is guided by one’s intuition. The Transcendentalist centered on the divinity of each individual; but this divinity could be self-discovered only if the person had the independence of mind to do so. Whitman lent himself to this concept of independence. He once said,”Everything on earth has the divine spark within and thus is all part of a whole.”(web.pg2trans.) This
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“Song of Myself” is the most complete utterance of Whitman’s first great conception of life. “ No innovations must be permitted on the stern severities of out liberty and our equality”.( 2 USR) That was the message that Whitman was trying to get through to people by reading his poems. In most of Whitman’s poems including “Song of Myself”
Whitman appears to be surrounded by women and children, and by young men, and by common objects and qualities. He gives to each just what belongs to it, neither more or less. The person nearest him, that person he ushers hand in hand with himself. “Song of Myself’ was the poem that I believe revieled the most about Whitman’s attitude and beliefs. In “Song of Myself”
Whitman celebrates individuality and his beliefs of the existence of a shared universal self or soul. This also showes how he really believed in Transcendentalism which stated stong intense individualism and self-reliance. Critics who didn’t believe in Whitman’s beliefs rejected his optimistic outlook on humanity and life. They declared such optimism naive and unrealistic.
They felt humans were depraved and had to stuggle for goodness. They feared the people who desired complete individualism would give into the worse angles of man’s nature. They viewed
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