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Whitman Essay

379 words - 2 pages


To Whitman, democracy was not simply a political system that empowered the government and people; instead, it was a brand new way of living and experiencing the world. Although Whitman’s Song of Myself may seem extremely self centered and egoistic to many, he is in fact trying to use himself as a portrayal of individuality. Whitman’s vision for America was a new democratic and autonomous world that has been broken from Europe. He sees America as a country that has its own fresh and innovative culture, history, democracy and ...view middle of the document...

” In here, he is already telling the readers that he is a part of the whole, and he is only a broad empty container full of other people and other things. In this case, the “self” is a broad conception in which there is this cosmic sense of the self that everyone takes part in. Therefore, he is speaking for everyone, and considers himself the representation of individuality for everyone. Also for Whitman, there is a sense of equality in the expression of democracy and equality. He believed that democracy must go beyond just politics; it should be able to affect the way we think, act, and interact with one another. Additionally, a democratic country should be able to hold together all the unique yet equal individuals and become a whole.
Another important point that Whitman was trying to convey is the idea of the materialism of the self. He talks about atom, air, and nature… He is trying to say that the self is an organic part of the world. The organic and essential self stands aside, and has a certain autonomy and independence that is impossible to lose or give away. The self should not be dependent on any matter and it cannot be embroiled in anything. In general, Whitman has a special visionary sense and believes that an individual, a self can encompass the whole universe if he wanted.

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