Whitman: Concept of Self

Write an essay in which you explore the concept of the self as presented in Whitman. How does Whitman use
his “I” as an “eye” to catalog the many diverse faces of America and bring unity to the vision of the country?
Remember that Whitman is writing at a time that the fractured young nation is actually splitting on the MasonDixon line. How does Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” connect America in one vision? How does Whitman
provide a democratic vision of a unified country through the vehicle of the self? Include consideration of
Emerson and how Whitman does or does not fulfill Emersonian ideals.

Sample Solution