Study Questions for Whitman
1. What aspects of "Song of Myself" would have astonished its first readers in the 1850s?
2. Who is the "myself" in this poem? What are his self-perceptions and attitude toward the reader?
3. What affinities with Emerson's and Thoreau's transcendentalism can we locate in Whitman's 
4. What is Whitman's poetic style? Find examples of the following: repetition, balance, catalogues, rhetorical devices (i.e., different methods of "speaking" to his audience). How might Whitman's style relate to the title of his book, Leaves of Grass? How might the qualities of Whitman's self (question 2 above) be reflected in his style.
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