"Song of Myself" captures numerous qualities that we find in realist literature:
Verisimilitude: Realist writers want to present as close a portrait of truth as is possible. Whitman takes this one step further: he urges the reader to evaluate the world around him and decide what is true for himself: "You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, / You shall listen to all sides and filter them for yourself." Whitman acknowledges the value of truth, but he also values the importance of discernment that is crucial to truth. This process of evaluating is dependent not just on examining "through the eyes of the dead," but through a close, personal inspection.
Accessible language: Realist writers include ordinary people in their content and in their potential audience. This means they strip away pretentious and flowery structures and vocabulary and try to make both the syntax and meaning transparent. After all, if the purpose of the writing is to convey a truth, these writers...
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