Divergence Into Tradition: Whitman’s Successful Conventionality In “O Captain! My Captain!”

725 words - 3 pages

Divergence into Tradition: Whitman’s Successful Conventionality in “O Captain! My Captain!”
President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination served as the tragic closing to the American Civil War. Walt Whitman, who idolized Lincoln because he felt that they shared the common goal of uniting the nation, wrote one of his most famous poems, “O Captain! My Captain!” as a lament, portraying the horror he felt after hearing of the loved president’s death. When compared to almost all of Whitman’s other poems, “O Captain! My Captain!” stands out in that the structure and style implemented in the poem do not offer a fair representation of Whitman’s usual writing. The poem garnered much appreciation and commendation, although Whitman did not enjoy the compliments because they had never applied to his regular poetry, and remains popular and well-known even to this day. Because Lincoln’s death reverberated through the United States, Whitman utilizes conceit and allusions, regular end-rhyme, stanzas, and meter in “O Captain! My Captain!” to connect all the people in the United States in mourning a father figure and leader’s death.
As Jhan Hochman notes in his essay, Whitman portrays the nation’s “fearful trip” through the Civil War by the means of an extended metaphor, describing the image of a ship that has navigated through rough waters to arrive back at port. The captain addressed throughout the poem, who lies dead while the people on shore rejoice and celebrate victory, represents Lincoln by displaying Whitman’s respect and admiration for the president; using the more personal and possessive “my Captain” instead of “the Captain,” Whitman enunciates the depth of his, and the nation’s, love for Lincoln. The speaker of the poem, representing both Whitman and the people of the United States, even refers to his captain as “[his] father,” further emphasizing his loyalty to the captain and the bitter sadness his death causes. This fierce loyalty mirrors Whitman’s loyalty to Lincoln as a political follower because Lincoln shared Whitman’s goals of uniting the nation, the “prize [they] sought [and] won,” no matter the costs; such loyalty resulted from the realization...

Find Another Essay On Divergence into Tradition: Whitman’s Successful Conventionality in “O Captain! My Captain!”

This essay is about the close reading of the poem. Oh captain my captain

783 words - 3 pages . "But O heart! heart! heart! E5) imitates the rhythm of the human heartbeat, which has stopped for the captain. It also depicts the adrenaline rush, which makes the heart beat in faster repetitions. This description followed by; "O the bleeding drops of red! Where on the deck my Captain lies, E(6-7); conveys an image of the sailor watching the man lying on the deck without life, but is not convinced that he is actually dead. The situation, "Fallen

Triumph of Good in Captain Corelli's Mandolin

919 words - 4 pages Triumph of Good in Captain Corelli's Mandolin   Despite a backdrop of war, many characters in "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" are essentially good. This goodness in many characters overcomes the difficulties within relationships and the difficulties posed by war. De Bernières shows the triumphant nature of this goodness through his characters as they interact and develop relationships with one another. The island of Cephallonia has been able

Captain Ahab portrayed as monomaniacal in Moby Dick

723 words - 3 pages Monomania, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is the pathological obsession with one subject or idea. In Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick, an obsession causes monomania in its main character. Through his actions, words, thoughts, and what others think about him, Captain Ahab is truly monomaniacal. Ahab is monomaniacal through his words and thoughts. "Talk not to me of blasphemy,man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me

Who are the victims in "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"?

3106 words - 12 pages War is a prominent theme in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. This force damages and destroys lives creating a number of victims along the way. A victim is a person killed or injured as a result of an event, circumstance or in pursuit of an object or in gratification of a passion. There are a number of victims in the novel but not all of them are destroyed by war.The megalomaniacs are those crave power and domination; they are the commanders and

De Berniere's Presentation of Politicians in Captain Corelli's Mandolin

1824 words - 7 pages De Berniere's Presentation of Politicians in Captain Corelli's Mandolin In Captain Corelli's Mandolin, De Bernieres includes chapters which are dedicated to Mussolini and Metaxas. He uses actual historical figures alongside fictional characters to add a sense of reality and to give the novel an historical aspect. De Bernieres presents both politicians in a contrasting way. He introduces Mussolini who delivers a dramatic


714 words - 3 pages Charles de Gaulle was born in 1890. He was a smart kid in the early times and raised up by a catholic family. When he was a kid he always wanted to be in the military. In 1909 he was in the top military academy, Saint-Cyr. After the academy of studying he joined a infantry regiment. He finally got into world war l. But sadly he got hurt while on duty. After his actions he got a medal for it. In 1916 he was fighting as a captain of battle of

The Massacre of Captain John Gunnison and his Explorers in 1853

2674 words - 11 pages Two events took place in the mid-19th century in the United States that set the stage for a third which became an historic turning point in American history. The settlement of Mormons in Utah and their pursuit to establish their own government coupled with explorations to develop the transcontinental railroad laid the groundwork for the massacre of Captain John Gunnison and his explorers in 1853 which took eight lives. As massacres go, the loss

Captain Preston’s Account of the Boston Massacre - American Military University History 300: Research Methods in History - Primary Resource Paper

1518 words - 7 pages . For example, Captain Preston writes: “They have ever used all means in their power to weaken the regiments, and to bring them into contempt by promoting and aiding desertions, and with impunity, even where there has been the clearest evidence of the fact...”[footnoteRef:5]. [5: Thomas Preston, “Captain Preston’s account of the Boston Massacre March 5, 1770” American History from revolution to Reconstruction and Beyond. Accessed 3 July

How effectively does de Bernieres manipulate the stories of classical Greek mythology to create a modern legend in Captain Corelli's Mandolin?

3073 words - 12 pages Pelagia discovered that she did not love Mandras any longer, and then became attracted to Corelli. Cephalus immediately threw off his disguise in disgust and said 'O shameless one, traitor, you have betrayed me and my love'. Upset by this deception, Procis leaves Cephalus and goes into the woods. Realising he cannot bear to be without her, Cephalus goes in search for Procis, and returns to the stream where they first met. Cephalus was carrying a

Larry's Realization in My Oedipus Complex by Frank O' Connor

1197 words - 5 pages In Greek mythology, Oedipus was a prince dedicated to kill his father and marry his mother. “My Oedipus Complex” by the Irish author Frank O' Connor is about a young child named Larry that wants to rid his dad from the home to become more intimate with his mother. When his father returns on his unexpected visits from the war, Larry is hostile and jealous of surrendering his mothers attention to his father and finds himself in a continual

Title:Choose two of the most moving moments in Captain Corelli's Mandolin and explain why they have this effect on the reader. Look closely at how language is used to create pathos

1249 words - 5 pages weakphysically, through the failing of his health "he felt exhausted enough to die"probably from trying to control his daughter. He is also weak in his mind, leadersare supposed to be strong, however this is an intimate account and so we areallowed into his deepest concerns about the image he will leave behind "There willbe no one near to say the truth on my behalf." These weaknesses would usuallymake one seem pathetic but De Bernieres presents Metaxas

Similar Essays

Journey Theme In Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain! And Tennyson’s Crossing The Bar

1174 words - 5 pages Journey Theme in Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain! and Tennyson’s Crossing the Bar A man’s journey at sea has always been romanticized as an individualistic struggle against the backdrop of the cruel elements of nature. Paradoxically, though, within that same journey, the sea possesses an innate sense of timelessness that can become a man’s quest for God. In “O Captain! My Captain!” Walt Whitman describes the narrator’s sense of aimlessness

Emotions In O Captain! My Captain!" By Walt Whitman

1175 words - 5 pages The poem, "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman re-imagines the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by using emotions filled with shock and regret of losing a father figure. Walt Whitman has a patriotic attitude towards this poem as he describes Abraham Lincoln and all that he did for America by using imagery to develop a scene similar to the reality. The poet conveys his deep admiration for the achievements of Abraham Lincoln. Whitman shares

Walt Whitman (O, Captain, My Captain)

861 words - 3 pages " O, Captain! My Captain? " is one of Whitman's famous poems. It is an elegy on the death of Abraham Lincoln, the president of the U.S.A. He was Whitman's hero and most beloved leader. He was kind, gentle, sympathetic yet brave and determined. He was too full of the milk of human kindness that he couldn't endure the bad condition of the Negro-slaves in the southern states. He decided to abate slavery and set the Negroes free . Of course, the

Poem Analysis: O Captain! My Captain! By Walt Whitman

755 words - 4 pages as if he is dreaming. The ship eventually arrives safely in the harbor and its dangerous and tough journey is done. Despite the dead captain, the speaker still wants the shore to keep celebrating for the homecoming of the ship and its success mission. But as the crowd cheering, he remains on deck, bewailing the death of his admirable captain. O Captain! My Captain! is Whitman’s tribute to Abraham Lincoln. The whole poem is an allegory of