Whitman and His country

Essay by JessalynnCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

Downloaded 72 times

Whitman and his Country

During his lifetime, Walt Whitman strived to be the American poet. First, Whitman illustrates the simplicity of daily American life and embraces this feature of American culture. He presents the natural or unsophisticated life of everyday Americans, in a way that makes the reader proud to be a part of this country. Whitman also encompasses the American way by defending democracy and defining what America is all about. By these means, Whitman impresses upon the reader the importance of everything that is put together to create what is called America.

Throughout "I sing the Body Electric", Whitman revels in the absolute goodness of the American daily life. Whitman describes his account of daily life in its purest form. In the second section of this poem, the reader gets the impression that Whitman is sitting on a bench observing the routine activities of the town around him.

He specifically describes "the wrestle of wrestlers" (19), "the march of firemen" (22), and "the swimmer naked in the swimmingbath" (11). All of these people are all typical roles played throughout an average day in an American town. This showed that Whitman had an appreciation for the normalcy of daily American life.

Again, in the third section of this poem, Whitman presents the reader with another average role in society; a farmer. At this time in history, being a farmer was an ordinary job because most Americans were farmers back then. The attributes that Whitman assigns to an otherwise "common farmer" (32) makes the reader appreciate the American ordinariness farmer even more:

"This man was of wonderful vigor, calmness, beauty of person;

The shape of his head, the pale yellow and white of his hair and beard,

and the immeasurable meaning of his black eyes--

the richness and breadth...