Hi Everyone!! This article will share For You O Democracy Questions & Answers.
This poem is written by Walter Whitman. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions & answers of The Shoemaker, The Enchanted Pool and Hero so, you can check these posts as well.
For You O Democracy Questions & Answers
Question 1: The speaker is an American here. What does he promise to do for America? Use the meanings of the three adjectives he uses in the first stanza to answer the question.
Answer: The speaker promises to make the continent of America indissoluble, that is, without any end. He wishes to transform America into a magnetic land, that is, a place which is powerful and attractive. He also promises to make the Americans the most splendid, of all the races that ever were.
Question 2: Why does the speaker repeat a few lines in the poem? What, do you think, is the significance of those lines in the poem?
Answer: The speaker repeats a few lines in the poem time and again in order to emphasize their importance. Through the poem, the poet envisages building a democratic nation. Democracy talks about love every comrade and hence he repeats these lines to mark their significance in the origin and continuing life of a democracy.
Question 3: Read these lines and answer the questions that follow.
(a) ‘Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
(i) To whom does the speaker say this?
Answer: The speaker addresses this poem to the people of America.
(ii) What does the speaker promise?
Answer: The speaker promises to make the continent of America a land which will be without any boundary or end.
(iii) Does the speaker want something in return from those he calls out to?
Answer: The speaker specifies that in order to achieve what he wants to, all that he needs is the love of his comrades, of the people of America.
(b) “I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities, with their arms about each other’s necks,”
(i) What does he compare companionship to in the first line? Why does he make this comparison?
Answer: The Speaker compares companionship to the brotherhood of the trees that grow along the rivers of America, the shores of lakes and also all over the prairies. He makes this comparison because he wants to emphasize upon something which is inevitable. Like the everlasting trees that stand together, strong and resolute against all hardships, the people of America too will stand together to overcome all obstacles in their path to greatness.
(ii) What is the meaning of the word ‘prairies’?
Answer: The North American grasslands are referred to as the ‘prairies’.
(iii) What does he compare cities to? How is this comparison achieved?
Answer: The speaker says that he will make the cities of America inseparable almost as if they had their arms around one another’s necks. This is possibly an allusion to conjoint and inseparable twins.
The speaker says that they will be as inseparable as comrades – as men who are ready to put their lives on line for each other and for the cause they believe in.
Question 4: Describe the speaker’s dream in your own words.
Answer: The speaker dreams of making America a land without boundaries, the Americans the most splendid of all races and his motherland a place of beauty and magnetism. He dreams of achieving these goals with the love of his comrades, his countrymen, since in the end he hopes to establish democracy which can only be achieved if all his countrymen love one another. He dreams of universal democracy one that will be based on strong bonds of brotherhood and companionship. Like tall and strong trees, companionship too will take deep roots among all comrades who must stand together to create a great democratic nation.
Question 5: Why does the speaker refer to democracy as ‘ma femme’?
Answer: ‘Ma femme’ is a French phrase which means one’s ‘better half’. The speaker terms democracy as his better half as democracy has been his lifelong dream and muse. All his actions and passions are directed towards it and it is for this reason that he refers to it as ‘ma femme’.
Question 6: Justify the title of the poem with a brief analysis of the rest of the poem.
Answer: The title of the poem is ‘For You O’ Democracy’, which evidently suggests that the speaker dreams of a great and glorious democracy where freedom, responsibility and equal rights will be guaranteed to all. Democracy guarantees equality for all and this can be achieved only by fostering feelings of love and brotherhood among his countrymen and this is why he keeps emphasizing the words ‘By the love of comrades’. He talks about planting companionship like tees that grow on the prairies, by the great lakes and the rivers of America. And in the last stanza, he says that he is doing all of this only for Democracy: he personifies Democracy as his better half. Thus, the title of the poem is justified.
So, these were For You O Democracy Questions & Answers.