Research Paper: Walt Whitman, ADD'l Early Life

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Walt Whitman, add'l

Early Life (reference, Biography by Folsom & Price)

In an extended biography by Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, the authors detail a very liberal childhood and beginnings for Walt Whitman, before he became a famous American poet. The biography relates an important moment in Whitman's life, when the young boy was just six years old and General Lafayette selected Whitman from the crowd in New York, picked him up and carried him. It is said that Whitman later viewed this event as a sign that he was to lay a path for social equality and classlessness, in a city where immigrants poured in by the thousands daily, looking for a new way of life and hope.

As the son of a strict Protestant and a softer Dutch mother, Whitman reportedly felt deep admiration and respect for his father, but was never especially friendly to him, especially since most biographies cite Whitman's father as an alcoholic. Instead, Folsom and Price say that Whitman had extensive correspondence with his emotionally supportive mother throughout his life and travels. Indeed, it is this support that was needed to get the family through difficult time concerning Whitman's siblings. Folsom and Price (along with many other biographies) report that Whitman's eldest brother, Jesse became extremely violent and unstable over the years that worsened to the point of having to be institutionalized. The middle child, Hannah entered into an abusive marriage, the outcome of which is hazy and inconclusive. Andrew Whitman also became an alcoholic, married a prostitute and tragically died in his 30s, while his mentally and physically handicapped brother Edward would need lifelong care like his brother Jesse.

Even with the tragedies that befell the Whitman family, and sometimes was… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Walt Whitman, ADD'l Early Life.  (2011, March 31).  Retrieved December 9, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/walt-whitman-add-l-early-life/9198945

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"Walt Whitman, ADD'l Early Life."  Essaytown.com.  March 31, 2011.  Accessed December 9, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/walt-whitman-add-l-early-life/9198945.