Read Charles Baudelaire’s Definition of the Flaneur, and Write a Response That Evaluates in What Ways the Persona in “Song of Myself” Is and Is Not Adequately Described by Baudelaire’s Term.

Topics: First-person narrative, Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg Pages: 3 (1065 words) Published: May 7, 2013
Charles Baudelaire is described the word, flaneur as “prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognoito.” According to Baudelaire’s definition of the flaneur, there is no clear distinction between different persona in the poem “Song of Myself” written by Walt Whitman. I observed that the poem is and is not adequately described in his notion of self, universe, sex, political belief, and life.

The poem, “Song of Myself,” is written in first person. Throughout the plot, the narrator mention “I,” and “myself,” and for deeper self, he called “Me Myself” and the “Soul.” Also, he shares his idea of self, universe, religion, sex, and political beliefs with readers, addressing as “You,” in the poem with the 1st person narrative.. The poet gives his name “Walt Whitman.” in section 24 of “Song of Myself,” which is not usual. It does not mean that the narrator is the biographical Walt Whitman who wrote the poem, but the character “Walt Whitman,” comes from real Whitman’s dream. However, when the character, Whitman, is portrays himself by explaining atmosphere in detail, it makes readers to think that other person describe him instead observing himself alone. This is because, when the poet mentions his name, the readers make separations between the character “Whitman” in poem which is the narrator, and the poet “Whitman.” This causes the readers to start putting themselves on the narrator’s shoes, that is consistantly addressing as “I” in the poem. Also, When the narrator is described himself, it is very descriptive like a flaneur. From the beginning of the poem, “Song of Myself,” the narrator says, “What I assume you shall assume,” in section 1. It blends singular and plural of individuals and breaks down distance between a number of people. This proves that everyone is equal in democracy. the narrator mentions himself as a “Kosmos,” or entire universe. He knows exactly how everyone feels, and holds everything, which redecides the boundary between the self and the world....
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