Live with Animals - Whitman

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Yen Bui
Essay #2: Analysis Essay
Due on Thursday, October 14th, 2010.
Professor: Amanda Coplin.
Humans’ Life Versus Animals’ Life
Human life is complicated. We ought to behave in such a way that does not hurt other people. We are expected to be nice, polite and calm. However, sometimes, people feel tired of being put in a world where they have to act humanely. Walt Whitman, as a normal person, through the voice of his speaker, shows his thoughts about living a human life versus living an animal life in the poem “I think I could turn and live with animals”. The way the speaker fights with himself over whether or not living an animals’ life rather than a humans’ life is very impressive. Even though in the beginning he expresses that he is tired of the troubles in his life and considers living an animals’ life, he eventually concludes after having studied the animals’ life that he prefers the life of a human because it is more sophisticated and more worthy to live. In the beginning of the poem, the speaker explains the differences between humans’ life and animals’ life. He thinks animals do not have consciousness, so they do not need to think and act humanely. In his view, animals which are “so placid and self-contain’d” never get frustrated with their life, while he is now mad at his own life. He thinks humans’ life is much more troublesome than that of the animals. In the second stanza, he lists some negative aspects of the humans’ life when compared with an animals’ life. Humans usually “sweat and whine” about their living conditions. They commit sins and can’t sleep at night because of their guilt. They have desires and passions which sometimes make them “dissatisfied.” They also have to show their respect to other people. However, animals’ never have to do those things, because they do not have thoughts about them. The speaker uses comparisons to clearly reveal the differences in those two worlds. He seems to be tired of living in this society, where he...
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