“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by Walt Whitman

“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by Walt Whitman

Question 1

This passage describes David. Christie is surprised at his appearance since she was somewhat disappointed in David’s looks. Christie expected him to be good looking judging from Mr. Power’s description. For instance, she says to herself’ “Melancholy, learned, and sentimental” as she assumes these are David’s character. Christie is however surprised when she finds David to have broad shoulders with an old hat and coat and dirty hands.

Question 2

In the second half of the nineteenth century,  the  American society underwent several developments. In the passage, the persona mentions the flags of all nations. This is symbolic of the cases of immigration that was experienced towards the end of the nineteenth century.  The text also refers to foundry chimney’s which confirms the presence of industries. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, American society was experiencing industrialization with the expansion of many industries in many neighborhoods. The persona, in this case, refers to the industries in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The passage also reflects on urbanization when the persona mentions the “streets”

Question 3

The passage describes Christine in Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins home. The presence of the plaster statuary clearly shows that the novel was targeted to 19th century readers. The arrangement of the room was typical to houses around the 19th century; for instance, the green and yellow wallpapers were standard in most households around that time.

Question 4

This literary style is referred to as

Question 5

The theme of light appears in several other scenes throughout the novel. For instance, when Christie is leaving to Mrs. Flint in the city from Mr. Devon and Aunt Niobe’s house, the persona says that as she ran into the carriage, she took with her all the sunshine of the place. The sunshine in this instance has been used to symbolize the joy and happiness Christie brought while she was staying with them.  Light is also mentioned when Bella returns. She was supposed to bring happiness and sunshine to the family but instead, her mother, Mrs. Carrol becomes anxious and plans on separating her from Hellen. The motif of light also appears when Christie goes to Mrs. Sterling and describes the atmosphere in the room as, “a room whose principal furniture seemed to be books, flowers, and sunshine.” In the novel, the description sunshine serves to inform the reader of the joy, optimism, and happiness that different characters exhibited and experienced in the novel.

Question 6

The values and beliefs of Mr. Powers and David are similar to those of Bronson Alcott. Bronson Alcott, Louisa May’s father, was known for transcendental ideals. Bronson was part of the transcendental movement and supported the abolition of slavery.  The Transcendental movement was a philosophical movement emphasized mainly on the ideas of life and religion. He was responsible for writing the Transcendental periodical known as The Dial in the 19th century. David and Mr. Power’s approach to farming and vegetarianism are also similar to Bronson Alcott’s beliefs. They also showed respect to women and believe in the provision of equal rights to ladies