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Patriotism in American Literature- English ISU Multimodal

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Lacey Kerr

on 18 January 2013

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Transcript of Patriotism in American Literature- English ISU Multimodal

Lacey Kerr
Friday, January 18, 2013
Mrs. Chartrand ENG 4U1 ISU MULTIMODAL "Americans are prouder of their country than are any other people in the world, according to a study of patriotism by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago." American Patriotism in Literature Whitman himself exclaims his patriotism for his country and his fallen leader in his poem. In the poem Whitman's language shows how Whitman felt close with the President as if they were joined as a unit; just like how he refers to Lincoln as being his father or otherwise role model. Showing how he has an enormous amount of respect for his leader. Lincoln. as described in the poem is almost like a god-like figure to Whitman, however this interpretation of Lincoln is also a good and accurate representation of the country's post-civil war view on their country and the death of their president The archetypal popular american story line of an everyday man becoming a hero, that many americans aspire to be is a main aspect of the patriotism shown in this novel. It develops the idea psychologically that anyone can rise up, follow the american dream and make a change in their country. Both King and Whitman focus on Presidents who were extremely involved in civil rights movements and made many changes in that area in the time periods that they were in office. The topic of civil rights has been a controversial and passionate topic for americans for centuries and this is why Whitman and King both had the opportunity to write about these popular subjects; because americans are patriotic about civil rights, who installed them and their progress over the years.

However sadly, it takes tragic events such as these assassinations for many people to appreciate what they have such as their freedom and why they have it. This is when the patriotism for many people becomes apparent. The status that the United States has held for centuries and their large economy worldwide is one of the reasons for this patriotism. http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/98/980630.patriotism.shtml Patriotism is shown in literature in both Stephen King's novel "11/22/63: A novel" and Walt Whitman's poem "O Captain" as both pieces retell a part of american history and how society would have reacted to the assassination of two great presidents. These works are a great representation of how, where and when patriotism is used in american literature, as they are both popular works, written by popular american writers.

The emotional patriotism expressed in the pieces represent the majority of americans during two different time periods in american history. This patriotism is expressed through the characters and language itself. Stephen King's novel
"11/22/63" Theme: A high school teacher finds a way to travel back in time and missions to try and save President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963 The opposite end of patriotism is also shown in the novel, by the man who was planning and eventually succeeded in assassinating President John F. Kennedy; Lee Harvey Oswald . This opposite end of the spectrum is necessary in literature as it presents the other aspect of patriotism which ultimately is the cause for such strong patriotism by others, because of how many people feel anti-patriotism towards their country and different beliefs and opinions towards the majority. This "bad guy" approach is famous for showing how a citizen should not behave and Stephen King does an excellent job in portraying Oswald as this bad guy. Although he does present the fact that Oswald could not have possibly known the full effect of his actions in the future, he is still to blame for much of the chaos to come for America after the assassination. What is the reason for the patriotism in this literature? What did President JFK do to make his country so patriotic towards him and his death? He showed extreme leadership qualities and was confident in his decisions.
He began the process of the Civil Rights act of 1964.
Promised to end racial discrimination in his campaign.
Encouraged new education and programs; Space Exploration Walt Whitman's Poem "O Captain" Theme: The assassination of Lincoln and its affect on the United States of America is indirectly represented by Whitman. Lincoln is portrayed as a captain of a ship that was victorious in its journey but now their captain has been killed and the crew mates miss their beloved captain. Whitman's poem "O Captain" conveys the patriotic message to the audience by using language that make the poem comparable to that of a funeral reading. This is why it became such a popular poem at the time it was written because it made people feel like they were apart of Lincoln's funeral and remembering. Whitman's descriptive language also helps the audience imagine what was going on at that time in Washington. “My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;”(Whitman, 22) “ We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why. Not until the future eats the present, anyway. We know when it’s too late” (11/22/63: A novel, 571) The american patriotism demonstrated in the poem "O Captain!" is one of the first of much literature regarding presidential assassinations as Lincoln was the first of many to be assassinated in the years to come.
Walt Whitman's poem is therefore a basis for all of the passionate patriotic literature regarding the emotions of the american people on the death of a leader. Patriotism; is known as the love or devotion to one's country (Webster's 2011 Edition.) Patriotism brings people together in unity, and its presence in literature does the same. In literature, this patriotism is more evident as actions are described and detailed, there is also a background on why the characters are patriotic.
In literature, the reader may become more patriotic then originally by reading about this patriotism and becoming more aware of a situation. The patriotism in literature makes the reader relate to the heroes, just like comic books or in movies; it presents for the most part, the positive side of someone and a situation without presenting the negative aspects. The emotional aspects in both pieces had a patriotic impact on both the reader and society, both globally and within the United States, as both pieces tell the stories of heroes and the aftermath of their untimely deaths.
Both pieces were written due to the loss of hope that was vanished after these assassinations and even though both events and the pieces occurred in completely different eras, they still connect American sentiments to their great leaders. Patriotism has been shown to be important to not only the reader, but the writer as well, as it is a universal theme that unites people on a global scale to better understand situations and make others aware of issues, for better or for worse. References King, Stephen. 11/22/63: a novel. New York: Scribner, 2011. Print.

Whitman, Walt. “O Captain! My Captain!.” Images:
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www.youtube.com Opinion Piece: Voice recording Are people still affected by the assassinations of these two presidents years later? Do they still have patriotic feelings towards them? Voice recording is attached with e-mail
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