Breaking Down Closing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Literature

Document 1

Whitman illustrates the daily commute of the ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan. He describes those experiences regarding the weather and surroundings with special concern to commuters, sea water, the clouds and the sunrise. This article delineates the poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Whitman in an attempt to decipher the real intended meaning the poem holds. In the first instance, Walt meditates about the commuters’ daily routines and how often they repeat the journey in the same vessel. What do they have in common? In spite of the era or time, all commuters who use the ferry experience the same route, scenic view, motion, sea, and steamships. Seemingly, this implies that someone was enjoying the scenic view of Manhattan in the past and in the same way another will enjoy it in the future and will probably experience the dazzling feeling the same way.

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Additionally, Whitman acknowledges the beautiful view of Manhattan and directs the water to continue flowing, and the waves to frock as the clouds splendor. It is doubtful to command components of the physical environment because they are slightly obvious. Noticeably, he aims at highlighting the natural element in scenic view that the humans enjoy watching, which consequently binds them together in glare and soul. Do all humans not fulfill spiritual accomplishment whenever they enjoy spectacular physical environments? Notably, the Brooklyn Bridge was not complete until 1883 long after Walt Whitman wrote the poem. For instance, he repeatedly mentions about the to, and fro trips across the East River to represent the historical cycles. Additionally, he mentions that many have crossed the river before him whereas a lot more will cross after him.

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Symbolically, this represents the similarity in emotion and experiences that the audience undergoes even though those experiences change at different times, they represent the factors beyond man’s control. Whitman exceptionally utilizes the ferry for fluidly moving with the reader through the past, current and future events. According to Casale (488), the speaker uses tides, lights, and darkness as a symbol of the multifaceted human experiences; the ups and downs. It is through this relation that Whitman elaborates the philosophy about interactions and experiences in time and space. Works Cited Berke, Amy, Robert R. Bleil, Jordan Cofer, and Doug Davis.  Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature, 1865-Present. Dahlonega, Georgia: University of North Georgia Press, 2015.  Brooklyn!: An Illustrated History. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.

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