The Naked Truth Essay examples

Submitted By btaylor12
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Pages: 3

The Naked Truth From the smallest particle of matter to the highest price to pay, Walt Whitman contrasts humanity and nature. In “Song of Myself,” Whitman ultimately unlocks the secrets to knowledge, love, and life itself. Right from the beginning, the words “Celebrate” (line 1) and “sing” (1) set a joyous tone to this poem. He is so happy about himself that it flows out of him in song, but, what does he know that makes him so joyful? Specifically, Whitman sees with his soul, which allows him to recognize a connection to all living things, which must be connected. First, knowledge comes from many different sources; For example, Whitman becomes a source of knowledge for us, his readers. He makes us lean in and listen when he says, “what I assume you shall assume” (2). “Assume” (2) being in the past tense and “shall” (2) being in future tense lets us feel that some of his wisdom is about to become our knowledge. To see what Whitman wants us to see, however, we must first close our eyes. When Whitman says, “I loaf and invite my soul” (4) Whitman implies that he has to see with his mind in meditation before he can understand what his eyes see. Physically, in this sense, Whitman’s vision is spiritual because he sees with his “soul.” This is the first step to learning truth. Second, once we are one with ourselves spiritually we can therefore, be one with nature, and each other as well. What is it that makes us so intertwined? With enthusiasm, because he is celebrating, Whitman emphasizes that he wants us to understand; we must connect to ones soul before we can connect our minds. Whitman points out “every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (3). In this way, he breaks it down to the molecular level because the smallest particle that shows we are tied in together by creation. All basic matter is connected, therefore, so are we all. Consequently, nature forms and reforms us all like a machine, transforming inputs into outputs then back to inputs again. Nature, like life, is fluid. Whitman explains this machine when he says, we are all “formed from this soil, this air” (6). Whitman wants us to feel what he feels, “Soil” (6) and “air” (6) are tools nature uses to form us. The soil is made of all things, living and non-living matter. We all breathe the same air. We are all made with the same soil and will all return to it. The air you breathe out I breathe in and out again. Also, nature will use the soil and air to turn each of us back into new materials again. This is the inevitable cycle Whitman sees in life, which is why he states, we are all “born here from parents the same, and their parents the same” (7-8). (Basically it’s ashes to ashes and dust to