Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass: A Poetic Paradox in Search of American Individualism
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson on Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is well known; equally well known are the traces of the Transcendentalist philosophy concerning nature. But Whitman expands upon both these influences as he developed his own individualism based on solidarity rather than independence. Whitman's take on individualism permeates all parts of Leaves of Grass, including the aesthetics. The aesthetics were up for much contemporary debate as the book seemed to lack traditional poetic structure and form. However, this was not the case as this study shows. In light of the sociopolitical climate in America when Leaves of Grass was first published, there was a demand for change from within literary circles. This need to create a new American spirit was called for by Emerson among others. Leaves of Grass was the response. In his book of poetry, Whitman develops a new American spirit with the intention of encouraging the American people to seek individual solitude; although, in this innovative individualism there is a paradox revealed: one must connect with each other and find social belonging at the same time as being self-reliant to have true liberating individualism. Also, the aesthetics in Leaves of Grass does show traces of traditional structure. However, the form is altered to represent Whitman's new innovative individualism. Thus, this study shows that the influences of Emerson and the transcendentalists are evident, but Whitman develops his own individualism in support of America, and in this lies a paradox. Whitman's first-person "I" becomes a representation of this paradox in Whitman's individualism, as well as a symbol for his solidarity towards his people: the united American people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
Literature study, Emerson
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-11746Local ID: EON200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-11746DiVA: diva2:1147558
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Course
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-10-06 Created: 2017-10-06 Last updated: 2017-10-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(633 kB)2 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 633 kBChecksum SHA-512
1ef7263d65364a7a00afb1294fa271e037d377c6366c7dc67f42bc4df307dce4a64b785bf92c5304eec616fe655862a3d5dada1334ece7f8d2734a4969ef772a
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Division for Educational Science and Languages
Languages and Literature

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 2 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 14 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf