What qualities in animals endear them to the speaker in "Song of Myself"?

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Qualities that endear animals to the speaker in "Song of Myself" include peacefulness, self-containment, satisfaction, and contentment. The speaker also likes that they do not complain, feel remorse for supposed sins, or desire material possessions.

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In the poem "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman, the speaker is drawn to animals for several reasons. In sections 13 and 14, he states that the expressions in the eyes of oxen display great knowledge, that the flight patterns of birds are significant, that without musical training the jays sing beautifully, and that tortoises are worthy creatures. He adds the conclusion, "I see in them and myself the same old law."

In section 32, the speaker offers more details of why animals are dear to him. He says that he enjoys observing animals and could even live with them because they are placid (which means peaceful) and self-contained. They do not complain about their condition, as humans do. They do not lose sleep weeping and repenting for their sins, and they do not make the speaker weary by their discussions about their duty to God. Animals are not obsessed with the desire to own things. They are not dissatisfied or unhappy, and they do not have social divisions that cause one animal to worship another or to worship their ancestors.

In short, the speaker accepts animals as they are. He offers the example of a stallion that he mounts and rides briefly. He and the stallion both feel pleasure during the ride, but then, the speaker gives the stallion up, as his thoughts can far outrace the horse.

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