Work, Whitman, and Wonderful America

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The poem “I Hear America Singing” has the literal meaning of Americans working hard while singing a song of freedom. The two symbols used in this poem are the songs sang by the Americans, which represent freedom, and individuals, which represent America. While the poem has a straight-forward main idea and symbols, the theme is hidden in the blue, and requires a little analysis to unearth. The main theme is that work is essential, and this ties in with work ethics and how each individual should work; however, another strong theme is individuality, which is portrayed in the poem by the workers, who each have their own song. Walt Whitman makes use of constant rhythm, symbolic imagery, and stylistic sound devices to reinforce the theme that work is essential.
The poem “I Hear America Singing” has the literal meaning of Americans working hard while singing a song of freedom. The two symbols used in this poem are the songs sang by the Americans, which represent freedom, and individuals, which represent America. While the poem has a straight-forward main idea and symbols, the theme is hidden in the blue; therefore, it requires a little analysis to unearth. The main theme is that work is essential, thus this ties in with work ethics and how each individual should work; however, another tenacious theme is individuality, which is portrayed in the poem by the workers, who each have their own song. Walt Whitman makes use of constant rhythm, symbolic imagery, and stylistic sound devices to reinforce the theme that work is essential.
Whitman creates a constant rhythm by using repetition and parallel structures throughout his poem, “I Hear America Singing.” The repetition is created by similar structured beginnings in the lead-in to each worke...

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...force his ideas and to create a mental image of work in the reader’s heads, but also does Whitman incorporate these poetic devices to fit perfectly with the poem’s components. Whitman uses the constant rhythm to picture a scene where work is continuous, and the rhythm also glorifies the Americans for their hard-working habits. Symbolic imagery is used slightly in the poem to add to Whitman’s beliefs because the imagery help the readers visualize Whitman’s picture of America. To exemplify his poetic flair, Whitman employs stylistic sound devices to set up the scene and to add to the overall feeling of the poem. Work, Whitman, and wonderful America are key words that are approximations because work is a part of Whitman due to his myriad occupations, and Whitman is a part of wonderful America that has thus inspired Whitman to compose the poem, “I Hear America Singing.”

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