Walt Whitman And His Work Essay

Walt Whitman And His Work Essay

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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, The Long Islander. However, that was not successful at all and he soon found himself without any work. Whitman moved back to New York City and a few years later was hired at The Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper as an editor. This was when he developed, and wrote about, his very different viewpoints than most. He would speak out about immigration, labor issues, women’s rights and many other controversial topics of the time. This put Whitman in trouble and could never keep a job for very long, which damaged his reputation.
After years of job hopping, Walt Whitman, for a very brief engagement, moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. This is where he saw slavery and just how terrible it was. This made him think about how terrible the country could get if slavery would be everywhere. So, he moved back to Brooklyn and began writing again for the Brooklyn Freeman, a new newspaper. This is where he could voice his opinions on slavery and how worried he was for the country’s future if slavery remained a th...


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...ood of Philadelphia” (Forester). This makes him stand out from all the other writers because of his diverse sense of “home.” For others, they may have felt that a city was home. For Whitman, nature in general felt like his home. It did not matter what city he was in or what part of the country he was traveling to. He felt a strong connection to nature wherever he was. Norman Foerester, author of an article discussing Whitman’s personal connection to nature, writes, “the prairies and mountains [Whitman] found particularly eloquent; they seemed to breathe the spirit of his own poems. Everywhere the warmth of the day, the many shows of meadow and hill, the silent stars at night, uttered inarticulate but audible messages” (Foerster). This accurate description is an example of how Whitman viewed the importance of nature and how nature spoke to him more than anything else.

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