Weak economic situation made Whitman in 1849 to open a small store in Brooklyn that sold miscellaneous items: pens, pencils, paper, musical instruments, and books. Shortly after it was doubled as a print shop, and it was sold three years later. (Reynolds “Walt Whitman, 1812-1892 A Brief Biography” 23-24). “Bitter over the unpopularity of the free-soil cause and at loose ends professionally, Whitman began scribbling vitriolic political poems” (Reynolds Walt Whitman: Lives and Legacies 9). He contributed four poems to the New York Evening Post and the New York Tribune in 1850. “These poems celebrated revolution, expressed dismay and anger over the political compromises surrounding slavery, and revealed an increasingly radical antislavery position” …show more content…
Class divisions were growing at an alarming rate” (Reynolds “Politics and Poetry: Leaves of Grass and the Social Crisis of the I850s” 67). The collapse of the party system, one of the major events in American political history, happened in the early 1850s. Disagreements over slavery broke up the Whig Party in 1854; Whitman's Democratic Party became was in no better situation. “The party crisis aroused Whitman's wrath against the governmental authority figures he had once revered. The presidencies of Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan eroded his confidence in the executive office” (66). About the second one he wrote, "The President eats dirt and excrement for his daily meals, likes it, and tries to force it on The States. The cushions of the Presidency are nothing but filth and blood. The pavements of Congress are also bloody" (qtd. in Reynolds “Politics and Poetry: Leaves of Grass and the Social Crisis of the I850s” 80). The unwillingness of either major party to oppose slavery dissatisfied him with politics. “At the same time, he became increasingly interested in the ideas of early nineteenth century literary romantics. Whitman's political ideas became a mesh of his working-class background and literary aspirations” (Cmiel 205).Whitman, who once strongly believed in party politics and in the presidential office, deemed the three presidents prior to Lincoln as "our topmost warning and shame" (qtd. in Reynolds, “Politics and Poetry: Leaves of Grass and the Social Crisis of the I850s” 67). Whitman’s disappointment with the political figures turned him toward the mass and a kind of poetry to move the common people for change. He viewed “American society as an ocean covered with the ‘scum’ of politicians, below which lay the pure, deep waters of common humanity” (Reynolds, “Politics
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Poetry, perhaps more than other genre of writing, often sparks controversy and discussion. Authors Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes are two authors in American Literature whose poetry is both debated and praised by critics. "I Hear America Singing" by Walt Whitman and "I, Too, Sing America" by Langston Hughes have sparked many discussions on their controversial content. Walt Whitman was the first of the two authors to write, followed by Langston Hughes who was influenced by Whitman's work. While Whitman's poem, "I Hear America Singing" reflects the happiness of the American people, the poem written by Hughes takes a different approach.
Upton Sinclair was born on September 20th, 1878. Him and his family moved to New York City in 1888 due to his father being an alcoholic. His family was extremely poor, unlike Sinclair’s grandparents, who were extremely wealthy. He claims that because of his experiences with the lifestyle of being poor and wealthy, it turned him into a socialist. Sinclair entered New York City college at the age of fourteen.
In four years, he worked for seven newspapers, often losing his jobs for his radical political positions. Upon moving to New Orleans in 1848, Whitman was exposed to the slave-trade firsthand. An avid proponent of Democracy, Whitman feared the impact slavery would have on the future of America. He returned to Brooklyn and founded another
John Brown is a abolitionist who was against slavery and has made a big impact to the abolitionist movement for slavery. Many debate is John brown was a hero or a murderer. He planned to help the movement by opposing a raid on harper leas ferry and wanted to free slaves and help them fight back. However his decision left a different type of impact.
Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland in a small row house on September 20, 1878. In addition to this, from an early age he was exposed to differences that would have a long lasting effect on his juvenile mind and drastically influence his thinking as time progressed. Moreover, he was the only child to an alcoholic liquor salesman of a father, and a determined mother, he was raised on the premise of poverty, yet was also exposed to the advantages of the upper class through frequent gatherings with his mother’s wealthy family (biography.com). Equally important, is at the age of ten Sinclair’s father uprooted the family from Baltimore to New York City. During this time, Sinclair started to establish a sharp mind and was an insatiable
On February 27, 1902 in Salinas Valley, California John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. was born to John Ernst Steinbeck Sr. and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. He lived a modest childhood, as his father held multiple jobs in order to support the family. For a short time Steinbeck attended Stanford University, but in 1925 he dropped out to pursue his career as a writer. Later that year he went to New York to find inspiration for his first book which he would later name Cup of Gold.
John Ernest Steinbeck Jr. was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California, United States. In 1962, after achieving success for multiple of this books, Steinbeck later became a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote twenty-seven books, which included sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. Although many of his stories were prized, The Grapes of Wrath is considered to be Steinbeck’s greatest masterpiece. During the Depression Era, there were also many other American writers who were writing at the same time as Steinbeck.
From 1865 through 1909 African Americans endure some tough times as well for some admirable times. Their experiences weren’t all bad there were some proud moments where African Americans believed in change that they saw in equality but later noticed that it had been taken away from them. When the government had abandoned African Americans rights and had made it hard for them to be normal citizen because of their outrageous law that African Americans had. Which made certain African Americans used their voice for the oppressed and spoke out of their injustice that happened in the south. These are their successes and failures that African Americans experience in their life do to discrimination, segregation, and inequality.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ancestors were the very men who put the accused to death in the famous Salem Witch Trials. Hawthorne was very embarrassed to be the descendant of such people, so he clearly showed his distaste of Puritan customs and culture in his writings. As an example, in The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel revealed his repugnance at the ancient ancestors that put innocent people to death for witchery, as it is shown in the book in a symbolic way with his characters, such as Matthew Maule. Nathaniel was not a transcendentalist, but was definitely influenced by the transcendentalists of his time, while he was himself a Dark Romantic, just like other famous writers in his time, including Edgar Allen Poe and Lord Byron, among others. Nathaniel was born in Salem, Massachusetts,
Throughout the history of American literature, many writers have shed light upon the strong work ethic and determination embodied by Americans. However, the shortcomings of different groups of Americans in trying to achieve success despite expressing these characteristics has been made evident by authors explaining how problems from sexism to working conditions have impeded people from being able to succeed. Authors including President Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson have praised the traits of hard work and dedication in trying to achieve success as they feel by way of having these traits, it is possible for someone to succeed at what he or she wants to endeavor in. In contrast, writers ranging from Carl Sandburg and Upton Sinclair,
The idea that hardships may bring out of someone something they did not know they had within them is something that many people believe. American culture is one that admires resolve in the face of hardship as we believe that is when someone shines that most. However adversity does not always bring out something that was not being shown before but rather gives a new direction to talents that someone already has. Adversity may push some to recognize talents they did not they had, like for example taking an advance class in a subject they did not like but finding they are talented in understanding the subject.
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman emphasize the importance of living true to yourself and developing complete self-acceptance. To live a genuine life 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 are spiritual. Whitman argues, in Song of Myself, that your identity and sense of self are 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 the poem “I, Too”, the author Langston Hughes illustrates the key aspect of racial discrimination faces against the African Americans to further appeals the people to challenge white supremacy. He conveys the idea that black Americans are as important in the society. Frist, Hughes utilizes the shift of tones to indicate the thrive of African American power. In the first stanza, the speaker shows the sense of nation pride through the use of patriotic tone. The first line of the poem, “I, too, sing America” states the speaker’s state of mind.
Among numerous other poets, Walt Whitman is unquestionably the greatest supporter of democracy. Of course, many of English romantic poets were faithful adherents of democracy. However, Whitman’s vision of democracy was much more vivid and realistic. It can be stated that he was a systematic follower of political realities. He denounced all prerogatives and vested interest and reflected complete harmony between the individual and society.