Non-Traditionalism and Individuality

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Non-traditionalism and individuality are used as the major formulators of personal identity. Throughout the use of poetry literature has played an important role in society. With the use of language, it has given it a symbolic tone to the readers perspective. Each author has their own style of writing and the message they are trying to convey to audience, finding a way to insert emotions and personal experience to form a connection. Walt Whitman and Dostoevsky were well known writers of fiction and poetry they both wrote about life and how they portrayed their views on society. In this paper I will be discussing the mode of expression between these two authors, how they shifted the typical modern literary philosophy with impacted different writing styles. I will examine similarities and differences in the works of the two authors. Specifically works from the “A noiseless patient spider by Walt Whitman, and “Notes from the underground” by Dostoyevsky

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In Notes from the Underground, he makes symbolic importance with humankind, the author’s intent is to use conscious thinking which in fact got in the way because he believed himself to so smart. Having all these knowledges he knows he has been sick for many years yet, he chooses to seek medical professional help. “I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don’t consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors (Dostoyevsky)”. Addition, another example was with confronting his colleagues he doesn’t do anything despite knowing they do not like him. With a sort of loathing…. I did not, of course, maintain friendly relations with my comrades and soon was at loggerheads with them, and in my youth and inexperience I even gave up bowing to them, as though I had cut off all relations (Dostoyevsky)”. Dostoyevsky feels that that conscious of his actions can lead to a disastrous outcome, so he chooses to do or say nothing. The poetic works of Whitman “A Noiseless Patient Spider” is a free verse analogy of Spider allows the transformation to intangible. Implying he wished he was more patient and wished he enjoyed things the way the spider did in making his web. In the first stanza, Whitman describes how the spider continues to spin the webs because it represents the pathway to experiencing the world. ” It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. Ever tirelessly speeding them. (Whitman)”. The spider never gives up because he knows what do to survive and go on living.

Non the less, authors Whitman and Dostoyevsky had very similar themes in their writing concerned with human nature, self-identity of one personal self. In my opinion the mood of the two authors is desperate, lonely, and helpless act. It also depicts the difficult struggles of human life in wanting to be accepted by society at the same time the need to accomplish. Whitman and Dostoyevsky places excellent imagery and metaphors to express the spider weaving its web. In the second stanza he allows the reader to imagine “Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my so (Dostoyevsky)”.

Whitman characterize the spider as “isolated” alone referencing that it will never fully be complete unless he makes a big impact to society. Dostoyevsky has a different approach with dealing with society, the use of imagination thinking led the persona not to act in any way to change his outcome that is prevailing. For example, he states “I am cleverer than any of the people surrounding me. I have always considered myself cleverer than any of the people surrounding me, and sometimes, would you believe it, have been positively ashamed of it. At any rate, I have all my life, as it were, turned my eyes away and never could look people straight in the face (Dostoyevsky)”. The underground man views of humanity allow him to criticize society. He creates his own self identity for him free will is more important and allows each person to self of motivation for their actions.

In conclusion, the way the authors handle the concept of the ideal society and the independence to choose a personal identity. In Notes from the underground, he chooses to remain in his solitude life not making the best of it because he is used to his own bad habits. It can be argued that the choice he made is as a result of how he viewed the ideal society. Whitman in contrast feels that it is highly necessary to have an ideal society where everyone is equal and has a sense of belonging. “This idea is explicitly projected in A Noiseless patient spider (Whitman ). It is, therefore, important to conclude that both the authors employ the use of non-traditionalism and independence as the major formulators of the identity of individuals.

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Non-Traditionalism and Individuality. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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