|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Poem Walt Whitman|
Leaves of grass, a poetry collection by Walt Whitman is written to explore the life, change and transition of Whitman. Its original book contains twelve poems but the final one is a compilation of more than four hundred poems (Miller 117). The collection of many poems is loosely connected to represent his life and human experiences during childhood which also describes the state of people in America. The concept of self refers to Americans differences in the nation in terms of place of origin, skin colour and social conditions. This gives the poet an acute view of democracy especially for reinstating Americas.
The publication of Whitman during the 1867 era underscored his nationalism and democratic rights in the United States (Miller 119). The images from the poems illuminate the physical entanglement and the differences of North from the south. This bears stress to the Americans and slaves pertaining to the notion of democracy and individual rights. The rebel states ignite friction which makes citizens develop fears. For example, the African Americans experience oppression especially on racial factions despite the legislative Amendments of 1868 which protects all American Citizens. Whitman justifies that the aspect of democracy and the rebellion of citizens is due to cultural diversity and lack of unity. Individuals are thus superintended to work alone because of the unsafe environment.
One of the poems by Whitman 'inscription', the concept of one-self explains the skeletal purpose of democracy in the leaves of the grass. The concept of democracy appears to be explicitly uncovered in the sense that, the individuals' concept moves from self to collective body where politics jip in (Folsom 66). This is clear in the historical analogy particularly in post-war America. The analogy calls for individual sovereignty to democracy. The unitary approach in the leaves of grass fights for all citizens of America to acquire individual rights without discrimination of any kind that is, racism, social class or collective identity. Individuals should have their rights and freedoms as articulated by the state. On the same approach, the constitution gives all people a privilege regardless if they are black of slave democratic equality. The postwar was, therefore, to fight for the release of the blacks and slaves as well as protection of their rights.
The notion of Americanism in the leaves of grass by Whitman is seen by the divided parts of the state (Folsom 65). It collates with the assassination of the sitting president who is assassinated after bringing the undivided parts of America together. The poem itself is a political lament which acts a vehicle or a platform of expressing the political force in the US. He denotes that, both poetry and politics have the ability to create a unified whole. This is clear by addressing the unjust nature such as the democratic inequality and injustices between the whites and the blacks. In Whitman's explanation, for instance, the use of the term 'the United States is' can illuminate a plural dispensation which means, America according to the poem is a collection of many states which are not unified. This can also be seen from the loose poems that he writes which although they represent many instances, they are fixed together in a book.
The significance of the grass in the leaves of grass is a representation of individuals who work separately in society. The individual in the poem observes the oppression, injustices and all types of inequality that underlie in the summer's grass despite their conditions to stop such kind of problems. The grass is the host of the leaves at the same time; it is distinct from the masses. The grass represents those people in power who are the members of humanity but they cannot help their fellow humans to evade the challenges affecting them. For instance, the whites cause pressure and oppression to the black and the slaves provided their ability to protect them. They begot their fellow human beings democracy which essentially eludes their status in the US. However, the poet depicts that, the conditions make the grass to think deeply hence satisfying the prevailing conditions. From this perspective, it is clear that the grass represents all human beings with each representing different facets of life.
According to Whitman, the treatment of individualism is specific to the self. Like in factories, human beings are supposed to work on their own and represent their conditions. The view individuals who are in power be it in politics or any other field, they make decisions which can only favour them. Consequently, they do not advocate for collective or individual rights but rather on their original thoughts of what is more pertinent to them. This scenario is seen in the everyday activities in America practically on the powerful political thinkers. This gives Whitman a leeway to emphasize the basic thing that, humans should learn the importance of self-expression in order to seek their rights. Finally, Whitman employs the use of earliest poetic styles to convey his message under a collocation of poems. They indicate the earlier experiences of his life which also reflects the history and the conditions of democracy in the United States America.
Folsom, Ed. "Hass, Robert, ed., Walt Whitman, Song of Myself and Other Poems, and CK Williams, On Whitman." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28.1 (2010): 65-68.
Miller, Matt. Collage of Myself: Walt Whitman and the making of Leaves of Grass. U of Nebraska Press, 2010.
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