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Ralph Waldo Emerson And Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

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Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman emphasize the importance of living true to yourself and developing complete self-acceptance. To live true to yourself and completely accept who you are, you must understand your identity and your sense of self. In Self-Reliance, Emerson explains that your identity and your sense of self is spiritual. Whitman argues, in Song of Myself, that your identity and sense of self is based on both your soul and your body. While both Emerson and Whitman allow for intimate connections and friendships, Emerson encourages people to have relationships with a select few, whereas Whitman encourages people to connect with everyone and anyone, due to their different views of self. In general, both Emerson and Whitman emphasize…show more content…
Throughout his poem, he constantly talks about the importance of coming together and merging. Whitman says, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (Whitman 1). On the surface, this quote may appear to illustrate that Whitman thinks highly of himself, but it is more than this. The last part of this quote emphasizes that we are all connected and even though we are all individuals, we should not forget that we are connected to one another. Whitman also says, “Urge and urge and urge, Always the procreant urge of the world. Out of the dimness opposite equals advance… Always substance and increase, Always a knit of identity… always distinction… always a breed of life” (Whitman 2). Whitman is saying that the more you merge with others, the more you become yourself. You also need to make sure to retain your identity while merging, but merging is one of the best ways to retain your identity. This presents a paradox, but ultimately, as long as you do not lose yourself, merging is encouraged because it allows you to retain your identity even more
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