Walt Whitman's O Captain !

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On April 14, 1865, a great tragedy struck the recently divided United States of America. On that day, just 5 days after the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. In a time of great sorrow and mourning for the nation, one of the greatest poems in American history was written, “O Captain! My captain!” Walt Whitman was a realist poet in the mid-1800s. This poem reflects the realist movement because Whitman is very straightforward in his writing. Although he uses extended metaphor in the poem, the writing is still very clear cut, leaving almost nothing for the reader to infer about the meaning. This literary work is the epitome of a realist poem in that all of the aspects of realism are present. The poem is a direct representation of the harsh reality that President Lincoln was assassinated, and the nation was without a leader. The line “fallen cold and dead” is repeated at the end of each stanza to emphasize the fact that Abraham Lincoln is dead. Language used…show more content…
Through Whitman’s writing, we discover the profound effect that this tragic event had on the nation, and the way it really brought the people together. Seeing the way that the citizens reacted to this shows a lot of patriotic qualities. Although the nation lost its leader, the people stayed strong and persevered through a very difficult time, and despite the fact that the nation was divided at the time, the tragedy affected the whole country, north and south.
When this poem was written, it was one of the most impactful literary works for its time, and it still is today. Realist poetry from the Civil War time period really explains the harsh realities of war, including death. “ O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman is a poem that effectively portrays the horrible results of Lincoln’s assassination and the way they affected the
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