The literature of America has undergone radical change since it’s beginnings with the puritan tradition. This rapid development has essentially been driven by a “desire” for a new literary “expression of American identity” and “artistic independence” from Europe, which was the center of world power and culture in the nineteenth century . In 1837, Emerson demanded that an end be put to America’s dependence on and “long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands” and encouraged his contemporaries to think with their own minds . In order to truly understand the spirit of a nation, one must look to its artists writers and philosopher, especially those of reputation and influence within the nation itself . The works of Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott were heavily influenced by the changing atmosphere of the nineteenth century with its new emphasis on self and society . While Whitman captured the very spirit of America in poetic form, Alcott “stands as one of the great American practitioners of the girls novel and the family story” .
America in the nineteenth century was racially and culturally diverse with a wide variety of distinctive natural landscapes: “not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations” . The unity and beneficence of the All and the ideal of the large embrace are the guiding principles of Leaves of Grass . Whitman acknowledges and celebrates every aspect of this new, vast and exciting nation. He intends to include everyone in his grand