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Walt Whitman wasn’t a very big fan of war. He thought everything about it was negative. We can see this in his poetry.
In “Beat! Beat! Drums!”, he expresses his feelings toward war using symbolism. The drums and the bugles are examples of two symbols. He is using these objects as representing war.
Whitman starts off each stanza with the same line every time. “Beat! Beat! drums! - blow! bugles! blow!” He uses this symbolism of war to show the effects it has on the world.
The drums and the bugles are always interrupting things. This is seen clearly in the first stanza. The drums and bugles are interrupting the church and the farmer can’t be peaceful. Whitman continues this symbolism throughout the rest of the poem.
Whitman also speaks of how he doesn’t like the war in other poems of his. He does this in “The Wound-Dresser.” He speaks of the war as his strangest days. They were long days of sweat and dust. The reader can tell by the explanations by Whitman that he doesn’t appreciate war.
He also talks about the people who got wounded from the war. He feels bad for them and wants to save them desperately. This shows that he dislikes the war because he felt there was no need for them being injured. If it wasn’t for the war, the people wouldn’t be that way. He doesn’t state these beliefs directly, however it is easy to see through his words.
Walt Whitman mentions his dislike of war throughout his poems. He may do this indirectly but his message is abundantly clear. He is obviously anti-war and has only negative aspects of it. He hates the idea of war and shows it in his poetry.
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Brooklyn Eagle, Mystics, Walt Whitman, Whitman, The Wound-Dresser
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