Collections: Grade 11-page Pg. 182 -Answers

Analyzing the Text

“rudderless wreck” (3), “Death chasing” (4), “knuckled tight” (5), “We will not desert you” (7), “ would not give it up” (9). Whitman opens with this because it is the story of a hero, which is the focus of this poem. This anecdote literally tells the reader everything that the next lines will be about.

“breast-bone broken” (26), “buried me” (27), “heat and smoke” (28), “shouts (28), “distant clicks” (29), “red” (31) “hush” (31), “white” (33), “fades…light” (34). This passage is ripe with sensory detail. The beginning creates a feeling of oppression and claustrophobia, this is followed by auditory details which creates a feeling of helplessness and distance. Then colors come in to visually create a contrast between the red of the fireman (blood) and the white faces. All these senses then begin to fade with the light. Whitman uses sensory details to make the reader intimately feel the fireman/hero’s plight.


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