O Captain My Captain Analysis

Submitted By StevieL01
Words: 690
Pages: 3

Stevie L. Lowman II
Dr. C. A. Blanco
English Composition I
April 22, 2013

The compelling literation of Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” speaks volumes that transcends many generations. His mysterious stanzas, although completely related on their own, was less than sly to elude the bigger focus of the time it was written. For me to take a honest grip as to what was actually being mentioned in the selected literature, I had to do both research the author, to know the mindset of the poet, as well as watch a movie inspired by the poets writings. The addition of the movie, Dead Poets Society, directly ties what I read in the poem to the emotional extent I fully anticipated the author to confer to the readers. There are three points in the poem that I will pick out in conjunction with the movie to analyze the level of intensity as well as the insinuated meaning being each point. The first things that stood out to me “our fearful trip is done” “the prize we sought is won”. Both are located in the first stanza, which one can guess hints that they are related to same idea or concept unlike the other two stanzas that proceed. This “trip of fear” and “winning prize” speaks of a purging period or else a trialing of some sort. Why else to people stick through rough times if there wasn’t a prize of some sort of earnings behind going through the rough time. The word “sought” causes the reader to be aware of a deliberate and purposeful journey that was taking place. When this selection was written in 1865 by Walt Whitman, the American Revolution was finally ending, and the prize that was won was the end of slavery. I make this speculation on the same premise that the movie related the prize to be, freedom from bondage. In to the movie, it was a mental bondage however; in actually it was physical bondage. The captain, John Keating, constructs a literature course, “trip”, the designed from the students to break free. In the end of the film, it proved itself successful as students that carried the “fear” from the “trip” broke free of their individual bondage. Another subtle hint as to what is being discussed in the poem, located on all three stanzas, “deck” and “fallen cold and dead”. Following my idea of this “captain” being Abraham Lincoln, his death consisted of him falling dead and cold on a deck after taking a fatal shot to the back of his head. I didn’t need any help from the movie to figure the obvious