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Emily Dickinson and Uncle Walt

Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are two of literature’s greatest innovators, they each changed the face of American literature. they are also considered one of literature’s greatest pair of opposites. Dickinson is a timid wreck loose. While Whitman was very open and sociable, Whitman shares the ideas of William Cullen Bryant, everyone and everything is somehow linked by a higher bond. Both Whitman and Dickinson were decades ahead of their time, sharing only the universality of their works.

Whitman’s works always express his feelings of equality towards all mankind “For every atom belonging to me as good to you”(Whitman 347). Whitman exemplifies the American values of equal opportunity. Uncle Walt always sympathized with the common man because that is who he is, a common man. Whitman’s works often express his love for himself “I celebrate myself, and I sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume”(Whitman 347). Whitman’s bold statements are one of many reasons that Uncle Walt has become so popular and so very universal. Walt Whitman has the fortitude to say what every person has on his or her mind. Whitman often writes about his feelings in a list or catalog, then he would constantly revise his it. Whitman would never use rhyme scheme or meter he expressed his feelings, “the spotted hawk swoops by accusing me, he complains of my gab and my loitering. I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”(Whitman 359)

Emily Dickinson on the other hand did not have the fortitude to directly address her problems. She always addressed herself through her poetry. “Heart! We will forget him! You and I tonight! You may forget the warmth he gave- I will forget the light”(Dickinson 374). Instead of talking and thinking out her problems she puts her emotions into her writing, creating literary works of art. Dickinson uses apostrophes to address herself to contemplate her emotions. Dickinson often used nature to express her feelings of longing and love “if you were coming in the fall I’d brush the summer by with half a smile, and half a spurn, as housewives do, a fly”(Dickinson 376). Nature is a reoccurring theme in many of her works. The metaphors the she uses help the reader to relate to her emotions and problems.

Walt Whitman often uses the Bible in his works while Dickinson felt that no one had to tell her how to worship. The styles of Whitman and Dickinson will always have their own place in history. Although they are both notably popular and universal, they were also completely opposite. In conclusion great minds do not think alike they think for themselves.



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