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18 October 2000 American Literature 1860-1912 Dr Figg The Idea of Equality in Song of Myself In Chants 15 and 19 Whitman uses the idea of equality to convey his belief that God is the divine creator of all things and thus they should all be treated impartially Although the same idea of equality is disclosed in both sections Whitman uses two intensely different examples to further illustrate his point of view In Chant 15 for example Whitman presents the reader with a lengthy inventory that illustrates different people doing various daily activities From the pure contralto singing in the organ loft to the patriarchs sitting at supper with sons and grandsons and great-grandsons around them the author is unobtrusively implying that these are all items of equal value This is evident in the dissimilarities of the people and what they are doing for none of them seem to have any relationship as far as the other is concerned For instance the one-year wife who gives birth to her first child and the clean-haird yankee girl who works as a seamstress The images of these two women can be construed as having a higher social status than a woman who has a child out of wedlock or one who is a beggar for example However Whitman disproves this notion by placing them in the same category as a man who abuses the drug opium and a prostitute dragging her shawl on the street By placing all of these contrasting images together in one parallel verbal form Whitman is emphatically revealing that they have one similarity they are equal because they are all the divine creation of God In Chant 19 on the other hand Whitman uses the image of a meal to convey his belief in equality He states that this is the meal equally sethe will not have a single person slighted or left away to exhibit his unprejudiced attitude toward mankind Again
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