Walt Whitman

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What were Whitman's and Dickinson's attitudes toward nature?

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Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson both revere nature, though for markedly different reasons. To Whitman, nature is the essence of all knowledge for man- if he will only pay attention to it. Whitman revels in explaining the human condition and really exposing the intricacies of life through the stalemate of a flank of grass. For example, read, "On The Beach At Night", and you will find the metaphoric explanation of life and death, through the eyes of a little girl who cries as "burial clouds" or stormy, thick clouds, cover the sky and hide the stars. Whitman explains, "The ravenous clouds shall not long be victorious, They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,..." In this moment, Whitman uses the cloud coverage of the stars to reference the pain of death. He hold that this pain will not last forever, as this is a temporary condition. 

For Dickinson, nature is more perplexing and convoluted. Within Dickinson's works, she uses nature to play off the...

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