"Beat! Beat! Drums!" by Walt Whitman.

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Analysis of Imagery

"Beat! Beat! Drums!"

The Civil War had a major impact on the people of America through the years of 1861 to 1865. Walt Whitman, a poet and Northerner of this time, wanted to capture the people's reactions of the war after finding out it was not going to end as quickly as they had anticipated. Whitman illustrated how the people, especially Northerners, changed throughout this conflict; he achieved this by using countless images in his poem, "Beat! Beat! Drums!" The main focus of the piece was imagery, which intensified the reader's perceptions and reinforced their emotions of the war. By emphasizing the significance of images, Walt Whitman went from being a public poet to breaking away from the traditional poetic form and introducing new kinds of poetry to America. Whitman's dedicated spirit helped him expand his sense of imagery through his various works, since he was never able to attend college.

The imagery in Whitman's poem that portrayed the Civil War could be evaluated by concentrating on the frequency and types of images, frames of reference and suitability of the imagery, and the meaning and effect of the images.

Walt Whitman used an extensive amount of images throughout his poem that primarily appealed to the senses of sight and sound. There was imagery all throughout the poem to reinforce the meaning of the war and immense influence this struggle had on the lives of the people. One significant sight image was "the solemn church" (Whitman. 3). This line helped establish the serious tone of the work. Whitman chose another picture of the town to illustrate how the clatter of the war spread through the hustle and bustle of everyday activity: "Over the traffic of cities--over the rumble of wheels in the streets;" (9). It further supported...