Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Bin Laden through Walt Whitman's Eyes
As I wrote in Democratic Vistas, "it may be, a single new thought, imagination, abstract principle, even literary style ..and projected among mankind, may duly cause changes, growths, removals, greater than the longest and bloodiest war, or the most stupendous merely political, dynastic, or commercial overturn" (761). Personally I find it so intriguing to see the effects that Bin Laden has had upon the American psyche. Children who have grown up since 2001 believe that the intensive screening practices at airports are normal, and live in a heightened state of fear regarding terrorist attacks that had never existed before. Bin Laden and his subsequent death have powerfully shaped people's perceptions about America today, impacting their beliefs about safety, acceptability of wiretapping and increasing worries. One single man is seen (though perhaps mistakenly) at the root cause of it all, and so for this reason many people naturally rejoice in light of his death.