In Section 46 of Song Of Myself, what literary devices are being used in the following quote?"No friend of mine takes ease in my chair, I have no chair, no church..."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In this section of this amazing poem Whitman expands on his philosophy of what it means to live a fulfilling life. He paints a picture of himself as a restless wanderer, always eager for new experiences, with a lust for adventure that can never be satiated. He describes his itinerant ways as a "perpetual journey" and distinguishes himself from other men in the following ways:

I have no chair, no church, no philosophy,

I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange,

But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,

My left hand hooking you round the waist,

My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road.

Whitman's hope for the reader and for the influence that his poem will have on them is that he will be able to show them the "landscapes of continents" that await their discovery on the "public road," in comparison to the possessions, religion and systems of thought which he refers to when he mentions "no chair, no church, no philosophy." Whitman emphasises how different he is from the majority by saying he is defined by his lack of any creed, belongings, or system of thought that gives him meaning. His meaning is defined by his wandering and his eagerness to learn and experience new things on that journey. Note the alliteration in the repetition of the "ch" sound in "chair" and "church." This again serves to underline the way that he lives his life differently from the majority of humans by emphasising these words.

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