Whitman-Song of Myself

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Whitman-Song of Myself

  1. 1. Song of Myself
  2. 2. First Lines <ul><li>Invoking the muses of the gods </li></ul><ul><li>“I sing of arms and of the man” </li></ul><ul><li>“Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree…” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Invoking the self <ul><li>“I celebrate myself” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Addressing the reader directly <ul><li>“What I assume you shall assume” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re connected. What I assume, you assume. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Body and soul (5) <ul><li>“I believe in you my soul…the other I am must not abase itself to you, and you must not be abased to the other” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The “other” is the body…no hierarchy…soul not higher than the body </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Erasing the dichotomy <ul><li>Whitman refutes the traditional split between body and soul </li></ul><ul><li>Both soul and body are holy </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Grass (6) <ul><li>“A child said, what is the grass?” </li></ul><ul><li>The narrator: I do not know, so offers a series of guesses: a gift, an equalizer (of class, race, living, and dead) a promise of ongoing life </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Grass <ul><li>“All goes onward and outward…and nothing collapses, and to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. The catalogue (list) (10) <ul><li>The “I” controlling the vision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“My eyes settle the land…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“I saw the marriage…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“I heard his motions…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“I had him sit…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Miscegenation </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Bathers (11) <ul><li>Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 1855 </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymous critic: </li></ul><ul><li>“Well, did the lady fall in love with the twenty-ninth bather or vice versa?” </li></ul>
  11. 11. The 29 th Bather <ul><li>Whitman’s eroticism is generally male oriented </li></ul>
  12. 12. Reinscribing the “I” (33) <ul><li>In his manuscript, Whitman originally wrote the line: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I am the man…I suffered…I was there” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ He was the man…he suffered…he was there” </li></ul></ul>

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