Walt Whitman And Transcendentalism Essay

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Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. His works mainly focus on the idea of Transcendentalism. In three of his works, “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” “Who Learns My Lesson Complete,” and “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” he portrays emotion through nature and the common man. He believed that all people should be able to have their own opinions on every situation. His work reveals how the human soul and Transcendentalism can be better understood through nature. Whitman’s use of nature and the common man ties in with Transcendentalism through his use of abstract writing, rhetorical questions, and the choice between eternal life and death. In the poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider” Whitman connects his own view on the universe to a spider’s view. Through his words “A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding” (Whitman 1/3), he emphasizes the loneliness that the spider is feeling. He portrays his own soul through the…show more content…
The meaning of this poem is trying to convince readers how magical the stars actually are. He uses the astronomer as an example of the difference between learning from a book or teachers and learning things from your own perspective. Anne Marie Hacht says, “Like an artist, the speaker will be interpreting the stars on his own terms, as a creative individual” (Hacht 2). She is speaking of how towards the end of the poem the speaker wanders out the room and sees the stars for himself: “Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars” (Whitman 6-8). Whitman puts a vivid contrast between the educated astronomer and the speaker. The astronomer has a very mathematical view on the stars, while the speaker sees them for their
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