The poem begins with an "I". To what extent does the poem refer to the individual and to the community?
What is Whitman's view of his physical self? Why does he stress it so much?
Discuss Whitman's poetry as a culmination point in the development of American identity.
How does Whitman contribute to the ongoing evolution of self-reliance? Of human freedom? Of concepts of democracy?
In the first section Whitman makes use of autobiographical facts, what is the literary function of such facts?
RE: What is Whitman's view of his physical self? Why does he stress it so much?
Part of Whitman's view in this poem is that the human body is a part of nature: vaunted, exalted, adorable and perhaps divine. He associates the individual human with the whole of nature then goes one step further to identify the human with/as nature.