Individualism And The American Spirit In Leaves Of Grass Analysis

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Individualism and the American Spirit in Leaves of Grass Who is a rebel? Is it someone who sky dives, a surgeon who does not prepare for his or her surgery, or even an entrepreneur? Walt Whitman was not a skydiver, surgeon, or an entrepreneur. He was a laborer, school teacher, journalist, nurse, and poet. Experiences from his various careers such as working as an office boy, nursing wounded soldiers, encouraging his students to think outside of the box, and editing at the New York Aurora all led him to be a phenomenal poet. He was a poet who took a risk to write in a way that had never been done before; to challenge his audience to think of the individual in a new way. A risk to go against poetic norms and to write in a way that lacked rhyme or rhythm, called free verse. The home for these defiant poems persists in his most famous book entitled Leaves of Grass. In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman took the great risk to voice a new perception of the American Spirit…show more content…
After being persuaded to desexualize Leaves of Grass, from the great influence of Emerson, Whitman felt it would take away all the work he had put into his poems (Helms). To continue to voice his opinions on sexuality he opened a new window to discuss homosexuality. He began to discuss homosexuality in his sequence of poems entitled, “Calamas.” In order to introduce homosexuality in his poems, he first described homosexuality in a way that it was seen during the time. In the poem, “Live Oak with Moss,” he provided an enclosed view of sexuality. Specifically, the lines, “I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone\I am to wait…\I am to see to it that I do not lose you,” describe this demeanor of homosexuality Whitman was looking to describe. These lines summarize how homosexuality Whitman viewed homosexuality: voiceless, ignored, and

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