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I Hear America Singing

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Madeleine Stanfield

on 13 November 2013

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Transcript of I Hear America Singing

I Hear America Singing
Tone and Mood
The tone of the story is appreciative. At first, Whitman seems indifferent, but at the end, he talks about the pleasing sounds and the joy of the people.
The mood of the poem is proud. This poem is a prime example of what it is supposed to feel like to be an American. It gives off a feeling of patriotism.
Background of
I Hear America Singing
Whitman conveys his beliefs of Transcendentalism in
I Hear America Singing
by expressing the freedom of the individual. Although he seems to be critical of the country and its overall beliefs, it is obvious that he is grateful for the opportunities we are given. Americans may not always make the best decisions, but we are given the freedom to make them. He believed that America is a great place, but the ethics and overall beliefs of the country should be changed.
The future of America depends on its people. If everyone cooperates and does what they should, altogether this country will be prosperous.
One uncommon interpretation is that the poem is completely sarcastic throughout. This belief says that Whitman was ashamed in what was happening in the country and believes that the apathy and obliviousness of Americans is going to destroy our country eventually.
I Hear America Singing
is a story of different Americans and their jobs. Whitman explains how he "hears" the different, individual voices of people while doing their jobs. He points out the hard workers in America and that they make this country beautiful. The songs show the people's patriotism while expressing their love for what they do.
main belief was that people are born pure, but are always corrupted by society later.
wished to improve all organizations of America so they would remain fair
people can survive by themselves, but do not realize the power of the individual
strong believers in spirituality
Walt Whitman
grew up in Long Island and Brooklyn
strongly believed in Transcendentalism
worked as a printer until he got a job as a journalist
first publication was
Leaves of Grass
, a collection of poems
known for his use of free verse
Whitman first got a job as a journalist in the 1840's. During this time, the Mexican-American War was being fought. Since Whitman was a transcendentalist and they believe in peace, it is assumed that he opposed the war. Many transcendentalists during this time believed the war was unnecessary and that America should not risk lives of its people for something so irrelevant. This poem could have been written to remind Americans what is important.
The Civil War
This war also took place during Whitman's lifetime. He was strongly opposed to slavery and was disgusted that a person could ever support something so cruel. This is another great example of how America is supposed to be free and brave, but the some of the citizens here support this violent act.
Free Verse
Catalog-listing the jobs and songs
Repetition-"the _____ singing"
Personification-"I hear America singing"
Alliteration-"shoemaker singing as he sits"
Full transcript