American literature | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 31 pages of analysis & critique of American literature.
This section contains 6,190 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Helen Vendler

SOURCE: “Whitman's ‘When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d’” in Textual Analysis: Some Readers Reading, edited by Mary Anne Caws, The Modern Langauge Association of America, 1986, pp. 132-43.

In the following excerpt, Vendler examines the various influences on Whitman's style in his “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” and stresses his “de-Christianizing” of the elegy form.

“When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” is one of six elegies that Whitman wrote for Lincoln. Two of them were rejected from Leaves of Grass;1 he printed the other four together (1871 Second Issue) under the general title “Memories of President Lincoln.” This group title is in fact misleading; there are no “memories” of Lincoln—of his upbringing, character, or actions in office—in the first three printed elegies at all. Only in the last, “This Dust,” first published in 1871 (Second Issue), is it said that Lincoln was...

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This section contains 6,190 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Helen Vendler
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Critical Essay by Helen Vendler from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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