The Poem's Central Idea The poet want to live with animals and experience a life without complaints and without faults and sadness. The poem's main topic is not to laud how good animals are, but to compare people to them in order to show their weaknesses. Animals are better than people because they do not worry about their future or their reputation. They just live in the present moment like it is their last day on earth.
Whitman also wants us to understand that people can learn from animals. For example, animals don't fret over small things; instead, they enjoy what they have now without worrying about tomorrow. This idea is important for humans to live a happy life.
Another thing this poem teaches us is that we should stop judging people based on their past deeds or current status. Everyone makes mistakes, and some people are bad news when you meet them for the first time. But once you know their heart, you can see that they really are not so bad after all.
In conclusion, the central idea of this poem is that everyone is equal, no one is better than others, and everyone can learn from animals.
The poet wishes to live among animals since, in his opinion, animals are quiet and self-sufficient. They do not moan and groan about their circumstances. They are constantly content and fulfill their duty to God. Animals always show their love and respect for humans. This is why Whitman wants to be like them: quiet and self-sufficient, constant in happiness, and showing love and respect for others.
Here are some examples of what one can learn from animals:
From a dog: loyalty and affection.
From a cat: patience and humility.
From a bird: freedom and joy in living.
From a fish: courage and spirit.
From an insect: beauty and fragility.
From an elephant: strength and dignity.
Whitman also says that one can learn self-reliance from animals. If an animal is hungry or hurt, it does not depend on other people or things to get food or help it feel better. It gets up and starts walking or calling for help. This is how one should act too: get up after being hurt or losing something valuable (like a pet or your job), and start searching for new opportunities.
Animals are always happy and cheerful.
Because animals are tranquil and self-assured, the poet want to dwell among them. They are completely satisfied. They do not, like humans, sweat and moan about their circumstances. No animal is required to bow before another of its kind. Animals do not compete with one another for position or power. There is no need for violence to maintain their status.
Also, animals do not worry about the future or the past. They are free from desire. They exist in the present moment. This is what the poet wants to be like.
Finally, animals possess a freedom that humans can only dream of. They are innocent and unspoiled by society's corruption. Humans, on the other hand, are corrupt from birth: "Born to fight, born to flee," as Shakespeare put it. Animals are natural warriors who know nothing but war and love. Humans have tamed these wild creatures and used them as weapons against one another. Animals, we should remember, are just beasts at our mercy. We can kill them when we want to keep ourselves safe or protect our homes, but this is not because they deserve our protection because of some higher moral value. It is merely out of fear or respect for our own lives that we act this way.
Now, if you will excuse me, I would like to go and drink beer with my friends after a hard day's work.