2. What is the message of the ad? How does Whitman’s “O Me! O Life!” poem connect?
3. The ad’s narrator is the well-known comedian/actor Robin Williams and the lines are taken from Dead Poets Society, a popular 1989 film in which Williams plays a dedicated (and rather rebellious) teacher who tries to teach his students to break away from tradition. Why, do you suppose, the commercial’s creators chose this film’s sound clip instead of hiring a new actor to read the lines of the poem?
4. Writer Chris Matyszczyk says that he likes the Apple/Walt Whitman ad, but that some critics will find it to be “overwrought and pretentious.” What do these words mean? Feel free to use a dictionary, if needed. Do you agree with Matyszczyk or with the inevitable critics? Explain your answer.
5. When speaking about an earlier Apple ad campaign, Matyszczyk says the materials created a “neurotic, metallic rumbling.” Explain this insult. What, do you suppose, was the writer’s problem with the earlier ad campaign?
6. Explain the irony of this company using Whitman’s “O Me! O Life!” poem to promote sales of the iPad. (Hint: Look at the fourth line of the poem.)
Walt Whitman in Our Modern World worksheet questionsKEYLaura Randazzo