American literature | Literature homework help

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Answer original Post with a minimum of 250 words

Respond to each student separately with a minimum of 100 words 

original forum -page 1 with references attached

student 1 – page 2 with references if used 

student 2- page 3 with references if used 

student 3- page 4. “.                                 “

Student 4- page 5

student 5 – page 6

Reading Material

Emily Dickson “I am nobody! Who are you?”

Walt Whitman “Song of myself”

Original forum

Part I: After reading the lesson this week, compose a paragraph of ‘reader response’ to the Dickinson poem and one of the Whitman poems. One paragraph each! Remember, ‘reader response’ asks that you connect with the poem in some personal way.

Part II: Find another internet resource ( this might be a text-based website or a Youtube video or a journal article)that provides some additional insight or helps you understand any of this week’s poems. Share the link and describe what the resource is and how it helped you.

Part III: What lines from “Song of Myself” describe, in your view, something important or unique about American identity? Copy and paste the lines here and then discuss your reason for selecting them in a paragraph. 

Student Response


Part I: In Emily Dickinson’s poem, I think she was trying to say that she knew she was an outsider and felt like it was easier to be nobody because she didn’t have the constant pressure that everyone around her had. She was free from worrying what everyone thought of her. I understand where she comes from because when I was growing up, I always felt the like an outcast and very judgmental of myself. After growing older I finally realized like Emily that if you stop playing the game of worrying about what everyone else thinks then that stress no longer holds you down and gives you the ability to focus on things you love.

In Whitmen’s poem,” I hear America Singing,” it related to me because I feel the same way when doing my job, it makes me happy, and makes me believe I’m doing my part even though it is small to keep America strong and forward moving.

Part II: I used YouTube to help me understand Whitman poem further because I thought he was just explaining everyday life in his world. I didn’t think at first that it was talking about something much bigger than just each job and this video helped me pull it together. Here is the link:

Part III: “The suicide sprawls on the bloody floor of the bedroom, I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair, I note where the pistol has fallen.”  

I chose this line in “Song of Myself” because I feel that it is very important to understand that even today the feeling of suicide makes everyone feel saddened. And he just states the facts of what happened but doesn’t speculate as what happened or why? And by doing that it makes me question as to what he was thinking about the situation when he saw the corpse and what made him put this in his poem.


I read Dickinson’s poem “I’m Nobody” and considered it vague and broad.  I then read her biography and re-read the poem.  To me, Dickinson was trying to express that she felt like an outcast.  She did not conform to the modern day religious expectations nor women’s social standing.  It is quite possible that she didn’t fit in anywhere and was most likely an introvert.  Her biography also referenced a possible failed love relationship which could have been a source if huge embarrassment.  This is similar to modern day people who are different and not accepted by normal society even though the culture of our country has changed quite a bit in the last couple of decades.

Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” was quite lengthy. I believe he was trying to give a summary of his life experiences with nature and people.  In one line he talks about becoming naked in the woods by the river and that he was “mad for it to be in contact with me”.  I can relate to this as an avid outdoorsman and my desire and quest to spend as much time in the deep forests as possible enjoying the solitude and grandeur of it all. 


For an outside source, helped me by giving a summary and additional analysis on Whitman’s poem, “Song of Myself”.  I have used this resource before for other classes and find it quite useful to help me understand what the author is trying to communicate.


I chose the below lines for Part III.

“Alone far in the wilds and mountains I hunt, 

Wandering amazed at my own lightness and glee, 

In the late afternoon choosing a safe spot to pass the night, 

Kindling a fire and broiling the fresh-kill’d game, 

Falling asleep on the gather’d leaves with my dog and gun by my 


I am an outdoorsman and this to me is the American way of life and identity.  Hunting passed down from generation to generation.  Our ancestors had to hunt game in order to survive.  We don’t necessarily need to do this to survive but it is a vital way of connecting with our ancestors and the natural world. I could not imagine an American way of life that did not include hunting or spending time in the wilderness.


Dickenson Response: I’m nobody who are you:  I see this poem as saying that it can sometimes be relieving to be a nobody. That when you’re possibly someone of importance, it can be overwhelming, and that the stress of that can sometimes be too much. But also, there is a feeling that you need to be “somebody”. When she says “banish us “ I think she’s relating to how the public always seems to think you should be “something or somebody” with your life. And if you’re not they look down on you.

Whitman Response: O Captain! My Captain!: When reading this, I instantly think of any time during war in the military. That when you come home you are received well, as if you’ve accomplished this great task, but at what cost. There are always leaders and soldiers who sacrifice their lives for the mission and the country. The perceptions and view points are quite drastically different from one on the “shre” and one on the “ship”.

Online Source: com/o-captain-my-captain.html” target=”_blank”> This link relates the poem to the death of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the Civil War. This is somewhat relative to my first perception of the poem, but I don’t think I would’ve related the two other than due to the timeframe. 

Song of Myself: “I asked no other thing, There is that in me… I do not know what it is… but I know it is in me.”

I see this line as defining patriotism. I feel as though most Americans are born with or raised to have a sense of patriotism for their country. I think its just natural tribalism to be passionate for your country more than any others, without even saying it. 

“Wrenched and sweaty”

These words can refer to the hard work that it took to get our country to the point where it is today. When one thinks of how our country was born, they can think of all of the immigrants that came here with nothing, worked hard, and made something for their families, in order to survive.


Part I: After reading the lesson this week, compose a paragraph of ‘reader response’ to the Dickinson poem and one of the Whitman poems. One paragraph each! Remember, ‘reader response’ asks that you connect with the poem in some personal way.

            In response to Dickinson’s poem, “I’m nobody! Who are you?” I can understand how she wants to be different and not popular. I feel like she wants to be well known but not popular at the same time where should would be bothered and admired all day long. I relate this to pop stars, actors, and professional athletes. Those professions are well known and are always in the camera spot light. They can’t live a ‘normal’ life because they are so well known and liked that they will no longer have their own personal life once they life the comfort of their homes. Dickinson expresses “how dreary it would be to be somebody”. This line explains a lot how different she perceives things such as being famous. In this day and age. Being somebody is a goal of many professionals. It’s their job to be somebody since the more famous they are the more money they make. I believe Dickinson did not care about the fame. She only cared about expressing herself. 

Part II: Find another internet resource ( this might be a text-based website or a Youtube video or a journal article)that provides some additional insight or helps you understand any of this week’s poems. Share the link and describe what the resource is and how it helped you.

            For this week’s assignment I needed to have the poem by Walt Whitman, O Captain! My Captain! analyzed to better understand it. I used an online internet source to help interpret this poem. What I learned from this source was that this poem was a metaphor. The captain is said to be Abraham Lincoln, the trip itself is said to be the Civil War, and the ship is the United States. The prize they won was the preservation of the union.

            If this is all true I completely did not interpret any of that from reading it. I tried different ways of reading the poem but could not at all see how it was trying to express the president and the war. I do believe if I was alive during that era I would understood it. In our reading lesson, I read that our culture and background forces us to read and analyze art differently. In my case, this poem was written in an era over 1 century ago so it is hard for me to relate to it. 

Part III: What lines from “Song of Myself” describe, in your view, something important or unique about American identity? Copy and paste the lines here and then discuss your reason for selecting them in a paragraph.

Wrenched and sweaty… calm and cool then my body becomes; I sleep… I sleep long.

            After reading this over and over this line stuck out to me the most since it seems so simple. After doing some research about this poem, I learned that this poem is expressing his imaginer perception of the universe. I believe he is wrenched and sweaty because his imaginary journey exercised his whole body to its limits. He is now sleepy from the soul and mind journey he just experienced as well. I believe this is important and unique because we all face personal soul journeys within our own mind that takes us to different worlds. Once we come back to reality it’s almost the same feeling of going for a long run and then stopping. The heart is still pumping hard but slowly calming down, your body makes you sweat more to cool you off, and now that your adrenaline is leaving your body you are becoming tired or ‘sleepy’.


Upon first reading Emily Dickinson’s poem, I did not quite understand it. I then had to think about who she was as a person and the time period she was in. Emily Dickinson was not an average woman for her time because she was not married and did not have any children. This means that she might have enjoyed being alone and being a “nobody”. I can understand her not wanting to be well known, somebody or in the public view. I like to be private as well. For this reason I do not have any social media. Being alone or “nobody” to some people might be odd, which is why Emily Dickinson says to not let anyone know or they would banish them. I sometimes get this reaction when I tell people I do not have social media. Overall, after reading “I’m nobody! Who are you?” a few times I understand it more and can relate to it in some ways.

Just like Emily Dickinson’s poem, it was hard for me to understand Walt Whitman’s “A Noiseless, Patient Spider” at first. After reading it a few more times, I started to understand that Whitman was comparing the spider to himself and his thoughts. This spider constantly spins its web by itself in a vast open environment with no fear. Its primary goal and overall purpose is making a web. Whitman looks at this and admires it. He sees the strength and determination of the spider and states that he and his soul are detached in which they have no purpose. They are aimlessly floating around till they find a connection and the purpose can become clear.

Walt Whitman’s poem was difficult at first to understand but I found a website that made it clearer. Here is the link:

“A Kentuckian walking the vale of the Elkhorn in my deer-skin leggings, a Louisianian or Georgian,

A boatman over lakes or bays or along coasts, a Hoosier, Badger, Buckeye;

At home on Kanadian snow-shoes or up in the bush, or with fishermen off Newfoundland,

At home in the fleet of ice-boats, sailing with the rest and tacking,

At home on the hills of Vermont or in the woods of Maine, or the Texan ranch,

Comrade of Californians, comrade of free North-Westerners, (loving their big proportions,)

Comrade of raftsmen and coalmen, comrade of all who shake hands and welcome to drink and meat,”

I believe that these lines of “Song or Myself” are important to the American Identity because Whitman is describing the diversity of the United States along with his diversity. America’s diversity is what makes it one of the greatest nations. I believe that it is important to divulge in other cultures and how other people live their lives. It gives a person insight in how others live and in return one can obtain understanding and ultimately acceptance of others.

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