Democracy In Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

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“Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman is an unconventional poem that promotes and celebrates democracy through its groundbreaking style of writing. Throughout his 52 sections, he embraces diversity and invites his readers to join him and revel in the beauty of common people, to partake in their aspirations and adversities. One of the major aspects of American Ideology during the early nineteenth century was Democracy. It is the “political system that follows from the concept of the free individual (and) assumes that the people…have the moral sense and critical intelligence to make informed political decisions.”(SU1-4) Whitman’s product was epic in a sense that while at a time where there was widespread apprehension regarding Democracy as a sustainable political system, here was a man who proposed to his readers to view democracy as a way of life, and not as a separate political entity.…show more content…
He is revolutionary in a sense that he invites readers to use their own sensitivity to live through the benefits of democracy. ‘Words become more dynamic and truthful when their “inaudible” suggestive values are enlivened.” (Setzer, 20) We don’t learn ideas from “Song of Myself,” but are forced to experience the liberation that entails in a democratic way of life. Unlike Socrates who led the slave boy to discover a mathematical theorem by a series of logical steps, Whitman’s work “approaches the reader with his rhapsodic effusions…seeking not to convince by argument but to present our common truths in the correct idiom” (Trecker, 22) Whitman is able to create an elaborate analogy about the ideal democracy. Through continuous repetitive exclamations that the speaker of the poem is a unified entity of all, he removes the boundary between self and the world, and likens it to democracy as being able to embody the world. Whitman’s innovative means to engage his readers to identify with democracy itself makes “Song of Myself” an
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