Death Final Draft

Topics: Death, Afterlife, Walt Whitman Pages: 4 (823 words) Published: December 17, 2014
Breanna Martin
Mrs. Savren
English R102 2pm
3 March 2014
5. What is Whitman’s view of death?
The topic death isn’t always the typical pleasant discussion everyone is up for. Usually in a day to day conversation one is asked “How’s life?” not “How’s death?” Most people would say death is scary or feel really uncomfortable answering such a question. This really is a natural response, but when reading Walt Whitman’s poem “Song to Myself” one can see that Whitman’s view on death is that of the exact opposite of a natural response. In this very egotistical poem Walt Whitman literally celebrates himself through fifty-two glorious lines and shares his thoughts on numerous subjects; one of which is death. Whitman was an intellectual man, very much in love with nature and had strong thoughts about it as he did with death and immortality. In section one of “Song to Myself” Whitman says, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air, Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same. (1.3-8).

In these lines from section one Whitman is portraying a scene of immortality arising his view from the physical elements. He has atoms that also belong to us as we do to him, but even more it is transferred from our parents and theirs, so on and so forth, leading to a sense of immortality. Whitman believed that one was always living even after death; he don’t not fear death nor deny it.

As Whitman moves into section three he states, “I have heard what the talkers are talking, the talk of the beginning and the end, /But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.” (1-3). I found this opening very critical because Whitman discusses how most people occupy their minds with...
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