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Walt Whitman: Builder for America Social Sensitivity

This Study Guide consists of approximately 12 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Walt Whitman.
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Casual references to "darkies" and "pickaninnies" early in the book indicate the unconscious use of racist language that even a sensitive and unprejudiced person might employ in Whitman's own time as well as in the 1940s without realizing the effects of such words. Most of the narrative, however, is quite sensitive to the evils of slavery and racial intolerance. A greater problem involves Whitman's sexual inclination. Even today there are some readers who are offended by Whitman's open celebrations of physical desires and feelings. Deutsch handles Whitman's sensually oriented poems tastefully, but generally avoids the issue. She has either decided to totally ignore any aspect of the poet's homosexual tendencies or else has completely accepted the story—regarded as historically accurate in the early twentieth-century—that Whitman's work was heavily influenced by a mysterious, unknown "beloved" who might have been secretly married to...

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This section contains 220 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Walt Whitman: Builder for America Short Guide
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Walt Whitman: Builder for America from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.