Analysis of Whitman's Leaves of Grass | Teen Ink

Analysis of Whitman's Leaves of Grass

May 9, 2022
By clee23 SILVER, New York, New York
clee23 SILVER, New York, New York
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Whitman forms a vision of an ideal America that involves an inclusive group of people thoughtfully contributing to society through his use of imperatives and anaphora. Whitman employs an imperative to urge people to not only value God but also value society: “Be not curious about God, For I am curious about each am not curious about God, No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God.” While Whitman acknowledges that being “at peace about God '' is important, he stresses “each,” emphasizing those who contribute and are a part of society. Urging people to be “curious,” Whitman echoes Thoreau’s ideas of thoughtfulness and introspection of the members of society, forming a vision of an idealized America. Further, Whitman finds God interwoven into society: “In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass; I find letters from God dropped in the street, and everyone is signed by God’s name, And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.” Through anaphora of seeing and finding God “in men and women” and “in my own face,” Whitman demonstrates how everyone is included. There is no need for borders. In asserting that others will “punctually come forever and ever,” Whitman emphasizes that all people have their time and role in society, thus contributing to society and allowing him to “leave them where they are.” Through imperatives and indicating no need to change society, Whitman suggests that the ideal America consists of people having a role in society.


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