Walt Whitman, A Life Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Walt Whitman, A Life

Kaplan's biography begins with the poet buying a house in Camden, New Jersey in 1864 at the age of 65. He then goes back in time to tell of his youth, his time spent working for newspapers in Brooklyn and Long Island. He began work on the Long Island Patriot in 1831 when he was twelve. Later he spent some time as a young country school teacher.
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Whitman's experiences during the Civil War, where he served as a nurse, are detailed as are the uses to which he put these experiences in his poetry. His reaction to the death of Lincoln is also discussed along with the great poems that he wrote after that death.

A great part of the book is devoted to Whitman's Leaves of Grass and the continual rewriting on revision that went on during the course of his life.

The review of this Book prepared by Jack Goodstein

Chapter Analysis of Walt Whitman, A Life

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   writer Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1600-1899

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Century:    -   19th century

Writing Style

If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A ton 16-20 B&W How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   51%-75% of book

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Justin Kaplan Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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