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Word Count: 858
The words of my books said Walt Whitman are nothing the drift of it everything The various themes in Whitmans works are the most important the actual erudite terms are only important in upholding these ideas The main themes of his O Captain My captain are death of a hero family a journey and defeat vs victory The themes are supported by a variety of concrete stylistic techniques including tone apostrophe allusions archetypes and repetition Death of a hero is the first theme to consider Its obvious the narrator has great respect for the Captain rendered by tones of compassion reverence and ceremony in the poem Exult O shores and ring O bells exclaims the narrator which shows the amount of esteem the Captain deserves There are several ways the Captain the hero could be viewed the more valid being Abraham Lincoln In the actual book Leaves of Grass by Whitman O Captain My Captain is headed under President Lincolns Burial Hymn and Whitman has written to Lincolns memory before - for example Abraham Lincoln by Whitman is featured in the Prose Forms Journals section of The Norton Reader This historical allusion in the poem contributes to the theme of Death of a hero in which Lincoln is seen as the father of our country symbolized by the ship who has fallen dead bleeding drops of red Moving on to the sub-theme if you will of family The Captain could also be seen as the narrators own father with the ship symbolizing his deathbed Our fearful trip is donethe voyage closed and done says the poem signifying the trials and tribulations a family goes through Whether the Captain represents Lincoln or the narrators own father the theme is applicable Another stylistic technique demonstrating Death of a hero is apostrophe Apostrophe is a style of personification in which the deceased or departed are spoken to as if they are still present in the first
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