Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman - Walt Whitman Individuality vs Individualism...

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Walt Whitman Individuality vs Individualism Dialectical tension / contradiction Hegelian triadic: thesis, antithesis, synthesis - relying upon self-contradictory ideas to lead towards a truthful conclusion - Marx’s dialectic/triad o Feudalism, capitalism, communism - Reliance upon contradiction: Whitman o Intimacy followed by withdrawal/alienation o Opposite out of advance - Whitman answering Emerson’s call for a poet who defines “national spirit” - Pound re: Whitman; to America what Dante was to Italy - “New Wood” Song of Myself - egotistical (I am exceptional) VS not egotistical at all (I am everyone else; I am average) - unscrews locks/doors revealing yet compartmentalizing - taboos in structure and form and subject matter American Exceptionalism - unique mission; different, special, better - Puritans: American divinely ordained - Self discovery, hard work, self-sufficient - Private over public, eschew larger society - Family > friends - Opposed to collectivism o Collectivism: human interdependence o Dependence upon fellow members of society Section 15: Performative Identity of American populous
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course ENGL 226 taught by Professor Heise during the Winter '08 term at McGill.

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Walt Whitman - Walt Whitman Individuality vs Individualism...

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