As I read about Whitman’s upbringing and his past, I notice that he and I have one or two things in common. Growing up as a child, my family moved all around New York City. I have resided in four out of the five boroughs; all except for Staten Island. Moving around so much meant having to attend a new school ever so often, which I hated. But one thing I did love about it all was the fact that I always got a chance to ride the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and tour the town as I traveled back and forth from school. Now, unlike Whitman, I did not have the joys of riding the ferry. I had the opportunity to explore my neighboring cities and towns via the train systems and the bus routes!
The 19th century’s world of technology differs so much from todays. If Whitman were present in our era, there are so many more ways from which he could gain insight, resources, and influences to develop even more moving works. I’m quite sure he would spend quite a bit of his time aimlessly traveling the NYC bus and train systems, as well as airplanes even, visiting other neighborhoods, cities, states and countries as he attempts to reach out to more people who would appreciate his literary genre. He would have had the opportunity to write about more than simply the “American Way” or at least be able to compare and contrast different cultures and races. One thing I am almost certain about is that he would remain constant to his idea of us all being one in the same, despite our differences.
Imagine the Internet being present for Whitman’s use. He would probably have at least 500,000 followers on Twitter! And for those of you who do not tweet, that is exceedingly a lot because I barely have 50 followers. But through the many blog posts that he would publish on a daily basis, or have published for him by his assistant, he would become very well known by a lot of people. He would undoubtedly be a celebrity.
“Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet… The effect upon me of my early life… Of the ward and city I live in… Of the nation,
The latest news… Discoveries, inventions, societies… Authors old and new,
My dinner, dress. Associates, looks, business, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks – or of myself… Or ill-doing… Or loss or lack of money… Or depression or exaltation,
They come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.”
Whitman was born and raised in the 19th century. He was exposed to quite a bit throughout his lifetime. He was apart of the civil war & witnessed the abolitionist movement take place. It is certain that had he have been born during the 21st century, many more resources would have been available to him. However, regardless of what would have or could have come about, this does not make his work any less valuable or moving than it is.