Transcendentalism Leaves Of Gr


By the late 19th century, Walt Whitman had become positioned at the forefront of the American cultural lexicon. His poetry was at once brash, dissonant and resoundingly erotic. His raw, unabashed poetry flew in the face of the prevailing ideals of his time. Whitman’s greatest literary accomplishment, Leaves of Grass, had set the ideas of divinity, the hierarchy of the holy trinity, and the ethereal perfection afforded these things into turmoil. What he did was take the theologian ideas of perfection and divinity and juxtaposed them onto mankind and the world around him. This theology of transcendentalism was the cornerstone theme throughout all of Whitman’s ...

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each individual, each "leaf of grass" has its own place within nature.
Up until the time of Whitman, the prevailing religious dogma of America had been one of strict adherence to traditional values and beliefs. Approaching the turn of the century, however, sentiment for an alternative path had begun to grow. Thus came the age of the Great Awakening. The idea of a spiritual equality amongst all people had begun to spread across the country and Whitman was one of the biggest proponents. What made Whitman controversial was not so much his embrace of an alternative religion, but how he took the Christian ideals of otherworldly reverence and planted himself firmly on the middle.
The idea of the Holy Trinity in theology is that of the father-son-holy spirit. This idea of each part of the triangle being one and the same is a major ideal throughout Christianity. Whitman took the old ideas of divinity and perfection and placed them upon his own ideas of the universe. Indeed, ...

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was an indelible and inseparable part of the reality of existence. Nature existed alongside man and the heavens, not subservient to it. In fact, Whitman believes that the worthwhile man is the kind who spends his time with nature, exploring nature. Nature is seen in just as a divine a sense as the heavens.
"The earth never tires, The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first, Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d, I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell."
The idea of the divinity of nature avails itself throughout Whitman’s poetry. He often defines the ...

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Added: 5/9/2004 12:11:57 PM
Category: English
Words: 2061
Pages: 8

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