Tag Archives: Quest

EXPLORATION OF THE CONCEPT OF “I” IN WALT WHITMAN’S SONG OF MYSELF (Published)

This research is an attempt to study the concept of “I” in Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. His Song of Myself offers an insight into Whitman’s quest for the self-discovery. According to Whitman, it is nothing else but the other name of a journey that is interpreted as a movement from “intrapersonal” to “interpersonal” and finally leading to “transpersonal”. For Whitman, it is not something static rather an ongoing process. It is a universal phenomenon extended to the whole humanity. I have tried to classify this journey of selfhood into four stages. In the first stage, he becomes conscious of his self; in the second stage, his concept of the self develops to include the souls of all men; in the third stage, it embraces God and in the fourth stage, the entire universe. Walt Whitman seems to be toiling extremely hard to make his readers, his companions. So that they can experience exactly what Whitman has experienced, so that the difference between “I” and “you” could be blurred. Walt Whitman, in fact, invites others to the journey of selfhood. “Song of Myself” envisions the “I” enraptured by senses, embracing all people and places from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. More central to his transpersonal flight is the view of the poem as a means of expressing his “self” in universal terms. A cosmic consciousness manifests and Whitman’s imagination is finally attuned with the infinite. And when the depth of this realization is achieved, there is an onset of fervent understanding.

Keywords: Quest, Self, Spiritual, self-discovery