What are some of the ways that you can compare and contrast Whitman and Dickinson?
The previous post was quite thorough. I would only like to add that one particular point of convergence in both is how the notion of American literary voice was rooted in self expression. Both thinkers held true to the idea that any notion of the universal comes from the subjective, and that from this only can truth be fully understood. However, within this form of expression might also be a point of divergence. Whitman is quite passionate about the democratic political form as being the best political structure to express this subjective experience. Whitman is able to assert complete confidence in how the heterogeneous composition of American Democracy helps to enhance individual voice. Dickinson is not so sold on the idea of political expressions of the good, in general. Her writing does not explicitly articulate how politics fits into the subjective expression of self. This difference in perception on the role and function of political orders might be one additional area of contrast between both thinkers.