Essay Topic 1
Describe and discuss the humanist, realist, and transcendentalist movements in literary history and Walt Whitman’s relationship to each of these movements. How can elements of these literary styles be seen in “Song of Myself”?
Essay Topic 2
Define the following literary terms: rhyme, meter, and form. Using an excerpt from the poem, identify the lines and stanzas as well as analyzing its rhyme and meter (or lack thereof). How does this poem compare to traditional, lyrical poetry? Why do you think Walt Whitman chose to write in this style?
Essay Topic 3
Describe, analyze, and discuss the sense of “self” and the omniscient “I” presented in “Song of Myself.” How did Whitman’s perception of self in this poem relate to common public perception of the self at this time historically and culturally? How does Whitman’s “self” compare with the Holy Trinity, for example?
Essay Topic 4
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