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How to Write a Critical Analysis. How to Write a Thematic Essay. How to Write Essay in Third Person. Leaves of Grass , his masterpiece, was revolutionary in both its style and content, praising the divinity of the self, of the common individual. The volume was directed at those Americans who, in Whitman's opinion, had been ignored by their country's literature, a literature which had typically targeted the upper echelons of society.
Throughout his life and work, Whitman promoted himself as the poet of American democracy and of the common man. Yet the focus of his poetry on the sanctity and divinity of the self has been criticized as being more egotistical than spiritual, and his exploration and exaltation of sexuality and homosexuality has been both deplored and downplayed.
Additionally, critics have analyzed how the Civil War changed Whitman's poetry, and have studied his ambivalent views on the subject of the treatment of Native Americans during his lifetime. Leaving school at age eleven, he worked as a law office clerk, and later, as a typesetter's apprentice.
After teaching school and starting his own newspaper, he began editing various papers. He also published poems and short stories in periodicals. In , Whitman published a temperance novel entitled Franklin Evans; or, the Inebriate; he later dismissed the work as "damned rot. Nine editions would eventually be published. After the war, he worked for a short time for the Department of the Interior but was fired when it was discovered that he was the author of the allegedly obscene Leaves of Grass.
Rehired as a Justice Department clerk, Whitman remained in this position until he suffered a paralytic. He had recently published a philosophical essay, Democratic Vistas and the fifth edition of Leaves of Grass.
While he lived for nearly twenty more years, Whitman produced little new work of significance, focusing instead on revising and rearranging Leaves of Grass. Leaves of Grass , in its final version, contains poems Whitman wrote between and The major themes of the work include democracy, sexuality, death, and immortality; universality and the divine nature of the self are also concepts that thread their way through much of his work. The first edition contained twelve poems, which shocked the public with their realistic imagery and candid discussions of sexuality.
The volume received little praise from critics, with Ralph Waldo Emerson being the notable exception. In later editions of Leaves of Grass , Whitman created new poems, revised existing ones, added and changed titles, and thematically grouped the poems. In Drum-Taps and Sequel to Drum-Taps , Whitman recorded many of his war experiences and mourned the loss of nation and lives.
Drum-Taps was later incorporated into Leaves of Grass. While many critics concede that Whitman's concept of the self is of major significance in his work, V. Chari maintains that it is the "organizing principle" of Whitman's poetry.
In analyzing Whitman's notion of the self, Chari maintains that to Whitman, the self was the true meaning and center of all existence, and that reality was not separate or different from the self. Chari demonstrates both the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson's writing on Whitman and identifies the similarities between Whitman's views and Hindu philosophy.
Additionally, while many critics observe a duality in Whitman's concept of the self the body versus the spirit, the individual versus the universal , Chari emphasizes the unified, monistic nature of Whitman's self. Fred Carlisle concentrates on the relationship in Whitman's poetry between the self and both death and spirit.
But it was also because of the fact that there is something distinctly…. Indeed, through the catalogues of people, places and things that he uses in his poetry, Whitman is able to display and touch on a breadth of aspects of life that make his poetry applicable to more people and also demonstrate his….
If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less. Walt Whitman Essay Examples. Previous Go to page. The First and Final Editions of the Great American Poem American literature has a rich history with renowned writers making their contributions to it over the years.
Walt Whitman is one of the celebrated poets who made a considerable contribution… Poem. Ralph Waldo Emerson vs. In the poem the… Poet. Me Imperturbe- Walt Whitman The word imperturbe means care-free. In fact, it is a voyage of the… Story. They each have distinctive voices that many have attempted to… Emily Dickinson. But it was also because of the fact that there is something distinctly… Voice.
There is a… Afterlife Life.
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Walt Whitman, arguably America’s most influential and innovative poet, was born into a working class family in West Hills, New York, a village near Hempstead, Long Island, on May 31, , just thirty years after George Washington was inaugurated a s the first president of the newly formed United States.
The Correspondence of Walt Whitman 6 vols, (letters) Prose Works, , 2 vols, (essays) Walt Whitman: Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts. 6 vols, (essays and notes) *These works were . Apr 11, · 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.
- 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. Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman is one of America’s most popular and most influential poets. The first edition of Whitman’s well-known Leaves of Grass first appeared in July of the poet’s thirty-sixth year.