S2, E15: Boys and Girls

I chose today’s title because the section of the poem that my group was assigned deals a lot with the equality of the genders. The idea that if we are to better society, men and women need to be seen as equal. This was controversial in a time where women were barely considered people.

My initial reaction to the work is that it is very hard to understand and I really do not think it needs to be written so complicated. Why can’t he just say what he means, and why does he have to use so many symbols? I thought he was treating this like a journal rather than a published work. Also, the vernacular he uses is very odd and confusing and outdated. I’m not sure if he is just trying to sound fancy because he is a “better person” or if that is just how people talked.

My initial thoughts on the assigned section is that it is very long and I feel like it is not describing any events in his life but rather just him sitting there and thinking. And if I had to guess, I would wager that is what most of the poem is like. Other than that, our section is pretty long and complicated.

I feel like transcendentalists are like today’s vegans. Nothing against vegans, but they are kind of known for constantly letting other people know that they are vegan, even if they did not ask. Transcendentalists are always and only writing about their ideals, especially Whitman. He is always writing about how to become a better person.

I would say the most important lines in our section are: “Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and
increase, always sex,  Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.” These lines really enforce the idea of gender equality and how it is needed to become a better society. This is a very common theme in section 3 and keep recurring. This was probably one of the most difficult lines of the poem to analyze and decipher as well.

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