Leaves of Grass | Critical Essay by Mitchell Robert Breitwieser

This literature criticism consists of approximately 33 pages of analysis & critique of Leaves of Grass.
This section contains 9,683 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Mitchell Robert Breitwieser

SOURCE: "Who Speaks in Whitman's Poems?" in Bucknell Review, Vol. 28, No. 1, 1983, pp. 121-43.

In the following essay, Breitwieser suggests that Whitman's usage of multiple voices in Leaves of Grass has political parallels. Breitwieser emphasizes the conflict in the poems between the voice of the small, individual "I" and that of the large, magnanimous, universal "I."

Why even speak of "I," he dreams, which interests me almost not at all?

—Williams, Paterson

The breadth of the problem is great, for the poet is representative. He stands among partial men for the complete man, and apprises us not of his wealth, but of the common wealth. The young man reveres men of genius, because, to speak truly, they are more himself than he is.

—Emerson, "The Poet"

I

The word I in Leaves of Grass seems to be...

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This section contains 9,683 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Mitchell Robert Breitwieser