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Whitmans Song of Myself

In section twenty four of Song of Myself Walt Whitman describes the relationship he has with everything else in this world. Whitmans description reflects his beliefs about radical equality and the love of nature. He does this by using a few different poetic devices. When reading this section it seems that Whitman is extremely vain, but he prepares the reader for this in the first stanza. He explains that he is just the same as every other person and is No more modest than immodest. This stanza sets up the rest of the section.

After the reader has been warned in the first stanza, the next three stanzas describe the state of mind Whitman is in when creating this section of the poem. The doors in the second stanza are representative of the doors of the mind that keep it from expanding too far. Whitman is telling the reader to throw away all preconceived thoughts and listen to what he says. The third stanza is the basis from which Whitman draws the rest of his theory of radical equality. The afflatus in the next stanza is the theory or inspiration flowing through Whitman and taking over his body and mind. From here Whitman reveals the rest of his theories.

The next three stanzas are about Whitmans theory of radical equality. The first is an outburst of emotion to show how strongly he feels about this concept. In the second he assumes the position as the speaker for everyone and everything. He then describes everyone and everything for which he speaks. These things range from slaves and dwarfs to fog in the air and the threads that connect the stars. Whitman thinks he can speak for all of these things because they are all a part of him. He is connected to everything and therefore everything affects him. In the next stanza he changes these voices so that they can be heard by everyone.

The rest of the section is about Whitmans belief in a universal love of nature. He introduces this theory in the stanza beginning I believe in the flesh and the appetites. Whitman chooses the most controversial way to talk about nature, but this is what makes his work so interesting. The next line seems uppity because he calls himself a miracle, but in the following stanza he shows why this is. Whitman increases the controversy of his work by then stating that he is more divine than churches, bibles, and all the creeds. He defends his statement with the argument that he is a part of nature and they are not so he is better. He explains that he is a part of everything that shapes the world and so is everybody else. He uses epistrophe in this stanza to stress the words it shall be you. In line forty-nine Whitman says that he would prefer a morning-glory to books to emphasize the superiority of nature over man-made things. The following stanzas continue to glorify all kinds of nature and how it is a part of him. Whitman clearly feels that nature is an incredible thing that touches everyone and should be recognized as all powerful by all.


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