Compare and contrast Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride" and Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain" for theme and type of poem.These are some complex poems I think i know what the answer is i just...

Compare and contrast Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride" and Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain" for theme and type of poem.

These are some complex poems I think i know what the answer is i just want to be sure.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that one specific point of reference for both is that they have become staples of American History.  Both are used as points of nationalistic pride in terms of telling the history of the United States.  Longfellow's work depicts Paul Revere as an individual leader of the movement that took grave risks in alerting the Colonists that "the British are coming."  He is shown as a stoic figure who was able to risk his own personal safety of being in trying to reach a higher and collective goal.  In Whitman's work, Lincoln is depicted as the fallen leader who was able to guide the nation through its darkest hour.  He is shown as a force of moral and ethical integrity, one that embodies what it means to be a "leader."  I think that both contribute to the mythology of the United States History as a hopeful narrative of good triumphing over evil.  Some significant points of distance between both is that Whitman's voice is much more present in his poem than Longfellow's is in his.  Longfellow subjugates his own voice in deference to the subject matter, while Whitman makes no bones about the fact that he is in mourning and his honoring of Lincoln is through his poem.  In this light, there is much more emotion in terms of language and tone in Whitman's work than in Longfellow's.

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