Walt Whitman

Start Your Free Trial

What are Whitman's leading ideas in the 1856 letter to Emerson?

Expert Answers info

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

I think that one of the most leading ideas that emerges from Whitman's letter is his passionate belief in Emerson's notion of a defining American literary tradition emerging.  Whitman believes in this and wishes to share it with Emerson, one he calls "Master."  Consider one of the closing parts to this letter:

Of course, we shall have a national character, an identity. As it ought to be, and as soon as it ought to be, it will be. That, with much else, takes care of itself, is a result, and the cause of greater results. ....Such character is the brain and spine to all, including...

(The entire section contains 316 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial