O Me! O Life! Walt Whitman Nick Huffman Clare Parkinson Characteristics of Transcendentalism • • • • • • • • Self reliance Forget the past Humility Non-conformity Love of the Noble Savage Live in the moment Seize the day All in all, be the best individual, self reliant, lifeloving, humble, and sound person that you can be O Me! O Life! Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish, Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d, Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me, Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined, The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. TPCASTT Title: the title insinuates that the author is being afflicted by the life that they live Paraphrase: He searches for the answers to the questions of life and so do the foolish crowds of people, but the true answer is that life exists and Connotation: Nobody can find the meaning in life because they look too greedily into the past or the future, but the true purpose of one’s life is to live in the moment and seize the day, because life is to short to be looking back Attitude: Exhausted, and worn out by this trifling question. Exaggerating words, like endless, never, all , or useless, add to the desperation and overall pessimistic outlook on life expresses in the first seven lines. Once the poem shifts to the “Answer” the attitude of the poem suddenly contains hope. Shifts: After line 8, when he states the answer to the question Title: The author is ‘quoting’ the question of those who cannot solve the puzzle to their life, that they are so perplexed by it that they cry out Theme: No matter the trials we go through in life, losing faith in humanity and ourselves, life still exists and in itself is enough. The very fact of existing gives one identity and a part in life. Transcendental Characteristics • Seize the day: “That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” because a day wasted is a lifetime of experiences not appreciated • Live in the moment: “that you are here…” because searching for a meaning in life is wasting it • Forget the past: because that is what causes the people in the “sordid crowds” to be lost in their own mind Connection The idea that one should seize the day, live in the moment, and forget the past are not ideals that are expressed in today’s society. People are continually wandering around, searching for a meaning in life. “The objects mean” are still put in an idle light and craved by the majority of our materialistic society.