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comparisons of Dickinson and Whitman

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Introduction

Joe Shannon Katie Noel Jack O'Brien Success through Different Scopes Throughout the history of literature, each individual writer has their own unique style that is distinguishes them from the rest. A writer's style is the kind of writing, the tools of language, and the manner in which their work is organized. It is shaped through the particular events they have and the mistakes the have made along the way that have helped them to grow as individuals. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson each have a distinctive style that has grown, developed, and changed as a result of their different experiences. The contrast in style between "Success" and "Song of Myself" reflect the differences in their personal experiences: Dickinson's style, which consisted of extensive use of dashes and unconventional capitalism, and effective metaphors emphasizes the magnitude of emotion which resulted from tragic events late in her life; whereas, Whitman's free verse, bold diction, and detailed imagery reflected the transcendental ideals resulted from his strong drive and belief in individualism. For two people living in the same period of time, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson were polar opposites. Emily Dickinson was born into a privileged society. She never had to fend for herself and was sent to private schooling. ...read more.

Middle

This asks the reader questions and then gives Whitman's opinion very directly; he even talks to the reader directly when he says "you" which shows how relaxed he really is. He recognized that the victors of a battle are just as important as the conquered and emphasizes this through his calm, relaxed style which did not have much format and never rhymed, which showed how it doesn't matter what the end result is. Both of these writer's lives and styles were changed through death, while Dickinson's was the death of people close to her Whitman's was through people who he was trying to save on battlefields. Death may have effected both but the way that they were effected was greatly different, Whitman embraced death and emphasized how even the dead have great importance and Dickinson had become deeply distraught by it. If one looks to analyze the poems of "success" and "song of myself" one can discover why the author's choose to write in their respective styles based on their personal experiences. Dickinson's poem reflects a skeptical view of success; argues that once success is achieved, it is ultimately a disappointment. Growth is gained through the suffering one goes through in order to achieve success. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dickinson argues that success is not as great as society builds it up to be and Whitman goes against hailing the "heroes" as society tends to do and remembers even the unknown, unimportant people who are usually forgotten by society. The critical analysis behind these two poems is a direct reflection of who they are as individuals. Surely, Dickinson and Whitman, by the way they use the language reveal something of their spirit, their habits, their capacities, and their bias. Given, that all of these are different, these differences are due to completely different lives. The contrast in style in "Success" and "Son of Myself," reflect the differences in their personal experiences. Dickinson lived a simple and glum life while Whitman lived a very active and random life. Therefore, it is no surprise when Dickinson writes using dashes and unconventional capitalism, and effective metaphors. Whitman uses free verse, bold diction, and detailed imagery. The differences in style that are shown in the two poems present directly evidence that their lifestyles were different. The reader can pick up on what the author was feeling while writing the poem by the structure, diction, and the topic. These are different for both authors. In conclusion, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman's "selves" are shown to be polar opposites through the style, structure, diction, and mood of their poems. ...read more.

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