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"O Me! O Life" Analysis

434 words - 2 pages

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the ...view middle of the document...

” Whitman argues that every person is contributing to human existence because they are living and breathing. He connects this idea to the rest of his poem by using a question and answer format. At the beginning of his poem he introduces his final argument, “Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,/ Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the/ foolish”. Whitman conducts his question to the uselessness of life (the question) and hints his audience to his argument by comparing faithless and foolish. This conveys the idea that being faithless about life is “foolish.” This comparison also relates to industrialization (advancement of economy) through the reference to trains and cities, which also contributes to the consistency of his poem. Whitman then relates this to the competitive industry of rising businesses, “Of eyes that vainly crave the light… of the/ struggle ever renew’d,/ Of the poor results of all… and sordid crowds I see/ around me”. The light represents the accomplishment of a successful business (which benefits to money) and how it’s craved by the many people in a competitive workforce. “Struggle is renew’d” represents the decaying of plodding businesses who were once thriving, which is what the “crowds” could be depicted as. Whitman contrasts the slow movement of undergoing businesses to the fast movement of our economy, though he leaves us with an understanding of the perspective on human expression.

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