Study Guide

I Hear America Singing Setting

By Walt Whitman


"I Hear America Singing" takes place in, well, America (duh). It's a big country, and Whitman has us hopping all over it. One second, we're on a steamboat deck, the next, we're chilling with a shoemaker in his workshop, the next, we're at home with mom. Whitman doesn't spend too much time describing the scenery—he's clearly more interested in the people who are working than in the places they are working—but he does bop around from place to place, and show us that work is being done everywhere.

For Whitman, labor is labor, whether you're a ploughboy out in the fields, a young woman in an office, or a mom taking care of kids at home. That's pretty progressive for the 1860s, dontcha think?

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