O Captain My Captain Analysis

Submitted By joquinta
Words: 675
Pages: 3

A life that parallels the life of Job never ends with defeat. I have a friend that, according to onlookers, should have crumbled to the ground with no hope for the future. Within the same year, both his mother and father died, essentially leaving him an orphan. The hardships of a double major in college left him no time to grieve. His grades began to slip, and he had no moral support from his friends. He decided to audition for a major role in an opera at his college, thinking he would never land the part as little as he rehearsed. To his and everyone else’s astonishment, the director starred him as the lead opera singer. A freshman had never landed such a prestigious role in the history of his college. His testimony, like Walt Whitman, demonstrates how ashes exchange themselves for beauty. In “O Captain! My Captain!,” Walt Whitman elucidates that one fighting for a noble cause must endure great sacrifice in order to reign victorious.
Whitman’s deep respect for Abraham Lincoln surpassed all understanding. He referred to Lincoln as his “captain” multiple times throughout the poem, indicating Whitman’s deep admiration for him (Whitman 1). Lincoln also acted as a source of guidance and comfort for Whitman—both strongly desired a reunified Union, ultimately sparking the Civil War. Whitman celebrated with as much exuberance as Lincoln when the “fearful trip” ended with the Union’s victory after many difficult years (1). The repetition of “heart” and the imagery of the dripping blood emphasize the poet’s raw grief and shock at the death of his captain (5). He also refers to the president as his “father,” representing Whitman’s tacit respect for Lincoln and his burdening role as a father to the Union, especially during the Civil War (14). To this day, the Civil War remains the bloodiest battle in United States history. Brother fought against brother, explaining how far both sides would stray from their moral standards to maintain their preferred ways of life. The Union annihilated the South and left no crack and crevice unscathed. Although the Union devastated the South and preserved their precious unity, it did not happen without unspeakable consequences. Thousands of Union martyrs only had the opportunity to bask in their victory within their tombstones. Wives faced the constant agony of knowing they could not say “I love you” to their husbands one more time. This stinging pain exemplified itself 100 fold immediately after the death of Lincoln. Whitman conveyed this powerfully through his careful word choice. Phrases such as “weathered every wrack” and “flag is flung” include alliteration to cast an