Walt Whitman's Poetry Is Unique Term Paper

Pages: 2 (535 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

It begins with the narrator nearly begging the deceased to rise up from his grave to witness how he has been missed and to see through this act of national mourning, the effect he had on the world. Whitman lists the various ways that the citizens are expressing their grief, such as with the American flag, "ribbon'd wreaths," and ringing bells. Every eye is on the funeral procession just like every mind is focused on the culmination of the Civil War. It is as if the narrator, and by extension Whitman, is trying to reach his dead captain from the land of the living.

In the third and final stanza of the poem, Whitman and the rest of the nation through this continued metaphor express their despondence when the knowledge of Lincoln's assassination finally sinks in and the people have no choice but to accept that their leader is now gone. The narrator chronicles all the physical and emotional signs make the knowledge and comprehension of the president's demise unable to be ignored. He lists the physical signs of lack of life, such as being without a pulse. In the end however, the death of Lincoln functions as a sign of impending destruction. In death, Lincoln unites everyone, shown by the fact that the narrator call him "father." Lincoln was not only the president during the Civil War, he was the founder of the modern United States as it icurrently known and understood.

Works Cited:

Whitman, Walt. "O Captain! My Captain!" The American Tradition in Literature. New York:Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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