The Transcendentalist Movement In Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

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Walt Whitman, born in May of 1819, grew up with an affinity for America. Originally from Long Island, New York, Whitman moved to Brooklyn as a child in hopes that his father would find work in the city. However, when that did not happen, his father took Walt out of school in order for him to work and bring in an extra income. Whitman began his working career at age eleven by working in one of Brooklyn’s attorney offices. Shortly afterwards, he began getting involved in the printing business and fell in love with it. This is where his passion began. A few years later, Whitman began to teach, despite his love of writing. After spending a few years as a teacher, he went back to Long Island and got into journalism by starting his own publication,…show more content…
Transcendentalism is “a religious and philosophical movement most prevalent from 1820-1860 that focused on the authority of the self, work and art transcends the senses and spiritual progress”. This belief was most prominent in the poem, “Song of Myself.” This is because the poem is related to both the self and also can be related back to the world. The poem begins with “I celebrate myself,” which a reader can immediately be drawn in and recognize that this poem, although written for a wide range of people, can be directed towards the individual and their life. As the poem moves on, it becomes more and more evident that the transcendentalist movement was a strong factor that influenced Walt Whitman and his…show more content…
The speaker starts off by saying, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself” (Whitman). This beginning of a 52 section poem describes and sets up the rest of the piece. Whitman immediately recognizes that the speaker is speaking about himself and sets the tone for the duration of the poem. The speaker discusses what their own life experiences are like, such as their beliefs. At this time, people were trying to find truth. Whitman wanted “Song of Myself” to be the “American bible” (Levine). In an article on the topic of Whitman’s desire to create this American bible, Herbert Levine

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