Why is it important that Whitman mentions "A Southerner soon as a Northerner" when writing of the various people he encounters and loves?
When Whitman was writing, there was great regional division in the country between North and South, and part of his focus on unity is seen as a way to try to heal the country whose character and variability he is trying to convey. Discuss the importance of the Civil War to the United States during the period in which Whitman was writing, and to Whitman's life as a whole. Do the students think the phrasing of this conveys an assumption that Southerners would be less welcome than Northerners?
When Whitman says "These are really the...
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