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My Captain!, Abraham Lincoln demonstrates selflessness when the text states, “Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugle trills… The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done: From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won” (Whitman). In the poem, the captain represents Abraham Lincoln, the trip represents the war to end slavery, and the ship represents America. Abraham Lincoln had believed all people deserve their freedom. Abraham Lincoln had spoken out against slavery, which had been a popular disagreement between the north and the south back then, and it had cost him his life. Just because a hero is selfless, does not mean the hero will let other people take advantage of that or try too hard to please
Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Morgan, Susan. “Emma and the Charms of Imagination.” Modern Critical Interpretations. Ed. Harold Bloom.