Morality In W. E. Tolstoy's Poem

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According to the Russian novelist and thinker Leo Tolstoy, patriotism is stupid because every patriot holds his own country to be the best of all whereas, obviously, only one country can qualify. It is immoral because it enjoins us to promote our country 's interests at the expense of all other countries and by any means, including war, and is thus at odds with the most basic rule of morality, which tells us not to do to others what we would not want them to do to us. (97) E.E. Cummings is of the opinion that patriotism should be reconsidered. He was born on the 14th October 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and died on the third September 1962. During World War I, he was innocently imprisoned for three months in France. Especially after the…show more content…
Cummings falls back on different patriotic as well as inappropriate songs. The line "say can you see by the dawn 's early my" is taken from "The Star-Spangled Banner" which is the official national anthem of the United States of America since 1931."My country 'tis" (Line 4) is derived from the American patriotic song "My country this of thee" whose lyrics were written by Samuel Francis Smith. The song also served as national anthem until 1931 and immediately creates a sense of nationalistic pride on the reader. At the same time, Cumming relates to a song called "Oh by Jingo" which can be considered as inappropriate. It is a song by Albert Von Tilzer with lyrics by Lew Brown. Oh! by Gee! by Gosh, by Gum, by Juv Oh by Jingo, won’t you hear our love We will build for you a hut You will be our fav’rite nut We’ll have a lot of little Oh by Gollies, Then we’ll put them in the Follies By Jingo said, By Gosh, By Gee …

At this point the poem is silly and not based on anything patriotic, which is contrasting to the other patriotic songs. The intertextuality implies that the speaker is unable to come up with his own ideals and principles. He uses a lot of American clichés and it seems to be a patchwork of worn-out and overused
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He wants to illustrate that we should question what we are told. Ron Paul, an American physician, author, and former Republican congressman alleged “ Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong”. Unquestioned obedience is not the same as patriotism. The voice of liberty should not be mute. People should raise their voices in order to eliminate and to change social injustices. Many people place too much confidence and trust in government and too less in themselves. Especially these days it is really important to raise the voice against governments and institutions or at least to question what they are
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