The poem starts with the speaker saying, “The American eagle is not aware he is; the American eagle” (Stanza 1), to show that the eagle is confident with who he is. The speaker then goes on to say, “… He is never tempted to look modest” (1), to support the idea of the eagle being confident with himself, never having to stop and think. This quote speaks out against the low self-esteem that some might have and speaks to advocate and encourage people with low self-esteem to become more confident with their appearance. The speaker goes further by saying, “When orators advertise the American eagle’s; virtues, the American eagle is not listening.; This is his virtue” (Stanza 2), meaning that although people might speak about the “eagle’s” righteousness, the “eagle” doesn’t listen but rather doesn’t care what others think about him.
The speaker then begins to take his or her attention on the eagle’s prideful trait, “He is somewhere else, he is mountains away; but even if he were near he would never; make an audience” (Stanza 3). The speaker suggests that the “eagle” is prideful, he doesn’t care about being known or having an ovation, he is satisfied just by knowing his achievements and doesn’t need approval from a crowd. And again, in the next stanza by saying, “The...
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...American eagle never says he will serve to represent the nation, nor will he dutifully serve as the symbol for the nation, “he is not at our service” but rather at his. The eagle could have the strength to not care about what others think about him and knows that he is not enslaved or imprisoned to social construct that have made a symbolic meaning to the American eagle.
All in all, the poem dramatizes the conflict between the nation’s “non-ideal” character traits and also the “ideal.” The structure of the poem makes it possible for there to be one main theme per two stanzas for a grand total of three (self-esteem, pride, and honor). The speaker then uses symbolism and metaphors to help make the eagles character traits much more lively. The poem also has alternate allegorical meaning allows the poems theme to be switched from three to one politically driven theme.
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