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Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Pioneers! O Pioneers!


by Walt Whitman

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down


Sorry, we got excited. It must be all those exclamation points. Our speaker is pretty clear that this isn't about pioneers around the world (especially not that old world where those drooping elder races are). No, these pioneers are from places named Colorado and Nebraska, Arkansas and Missouri. The rugged geography of America gets a good bit of attention, its mountains and valleys, the hard ground on which the men sleep.

And even though there's a fair amount of tree felling and nature conquering going on, there's a definite sense that the setting is still a very wild place. The pioneers tame it, but only partly; and then they move on anyway, deeper into the uncharted land.

See, according to our speaker, there is always more land, just off all the known maps, full of dark forests, huge peaks, and all sorts of hardships and dangers that make it necessary to bring your pistol and your axe.

What are you waiting for, Shmoop'neers? Get going.

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