Study Guide

Song of the Open Road Section 16

By Walt Whitman

Section 16

  • One more "Allons!" encourages us to get moving through all the struggles and conflicts.
  • "The goal that was named" can't be denied (213).
  • The speaker wants to know if "the past struggles [have] succeeded" (214).
  • For that matter, he's curious whether anything has succeeded. You? The country? Nature?
  • The speaker wants you to understand something: success has always led to the need for "a greater struggle" (217).
  • The speaker then claims that he follows "the call of battle" (218). He's down for action and rebellion. If you're rolling with him, then you'd better be armed. And you'd better be prepared for some tough times—hunger, poverty, enemies, etc.
  • Talk about a pep talk. How's that open road looking now?

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