The Meaning of Life in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself Essays

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The Meaning of Life in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself

Our culture seems to be fascinated by the unknown and specifically that which pertains to things of an eternal nature such as Heaven, angels, God and the meaning of forever. These things cause us to think about what we can't see and even allow us to engage ourselves in questioning the meaning behind our existence and what our purpose is here on earth. Some of these may be humorous and take on the realities of human nature while others stir something inside ourselves that cause us to take a deeper look at life.

In Whitman's "Song of Myself" #44, he appears to be doing just that-- looking at life from a different perspective for a while. He begins with a challenge to
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This refers to the process of the seasons and how after our life is over, the leaves will still change and the snow will come and eventually spring will bloom. Knowing Whitman to be an advocate of nature, this illustration seems to indicate that nature is at times the only thing we have to rely on. Its continuous stability has proven to be a process that never ends.

"Births have brought us richness and variety, and other births will bring us richness and variety." (1140-1141) Here I don't think that he particularly referring to monetary wealth, but rather richness in character and value to society. There are certain people in every generation who distinguish themselves in a particular area, therefore making them a part of history which will always live on. This is a constant reoccurring that continues to repeat itself as the centuries go by.

Whitman then seems to sympathize with those who have been treated unkindly by mankind and then clearly states that they have not been so "murderous or jealous" upon himself. Throughout these lines his tone appears to be rather egotistical and self-promoting, but I think he meant it to be taken as a challenge for his readers to evaluate themselves and come to a point of self-realization. He states that he is, "an acme of things accomplished and

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