The Hero In Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

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Stanza 33 of “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman is a beautiful poem. In the poem, Whitman describes a multitude of examples of people he considers heroes. One of my favorite aspects about the poem is how he shows his empathy for the heroes he describes. Instead of telling the reader, “I have empathy for the heroes who rise to confront challenges”, he assumes the role of the heroes in action and describes the events in first person to show the reader examples of courage. One line in the poem reads, “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” When I first read this line, I had difficulties understanding what he meant by “become the wounded”. However, after reading the poem, a couple of times I realized that he means that he can empathize with the heroes. To further show his empathy, he assumes the role of the heroes and narrates the events in first person, while using “I” “me” and “my” instead of “he” or “she”.…show more content…
Throughout the poem, there is repetition of the line “I am the man, I suffer'd, I was there, ” to emphasize his empathy. He also includes alliteration such as “rent roofs” and powerful imagery like “the long roil of the drummers” to liven the poem. Additionally, he helps the reader experience the events in the poem by using similes to compare the challenges to things that the reader has experienced. One line reads, “The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck”. In the poem, Whitman becomes the heroes, but by incorporating the literary devices, Whitman allows the reader to experience the same experience as the heroes as
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