Unity In Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider

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Walt Whitman’s poetry- influenced by his parent’s newfound appreciation of the country- embodied the American spirit, raised the idea of unity, and created a national identity, earning his reputation as a truly American poet. During the most trying times in American History- such as the Civil War- Whitman’s ideas about unity and America’s potential transcended all boundaries. The recurring theme that everything- from the past, present and future- were connected by something larger than themselves resonated through the time period. In “A Noiseless Patient Spider”, Whitman continues to pursue this idea of unity by illustrating the greater connection between common images in nature and the undefined soul, using the accepted image of a spider to explain the passage of the soul. In the first stanza, Whitman captures the essence of a spider spinning it’s web, seeking to find shelter in his…show more content…
However, his detailed description of the spider’s movement does not merely illustrate it’s actions, but also goes further to connect it to human’s actions. Describing the spider as “noiseless” and patient” serves to present the spider as benign and innocent. By using an endearing tone to talk about the spider, the speaker seeks to unravel a different, more relatable side of the spider- one that is relatable to the readers. By animating the spider with these adjectives, the speaker seeks to humanize it by finding a common thread in between this seemingly distant part of nature and people. Furthermore, by describing the spider as “patient”, a sense of anticipation is recurrent, not only describing the preceding conditions of the spider, but also creating movement in the poem. As the stanza continues, the reason behind the spider’s anticipation is made clear, as the spider seeks to find security and a safe place to build it’s web. By describing the spider when

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