Define the word “anthem.” In what ways is the poem “America” an anthem?
An anthem is an enthusiastic song for a particular cause (i.e., the National Anthem is the Star-Spangled Banner). Most anthems are considered uplifting and celebratory. This poem, highly critical of America, may be a pessimistic anthem; yet, the ending -- where the poet vows to join the fight to improve the country -- can be seen as a promise and declaration of loyalty.
What is the significance of the cultural references in the poem? Do they establish setting? Do they offer particular points of criticism? What view of America do you have from the cultural details in the poem?
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1339 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9982 literature essays, 2515 sample college application essays, 474 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.