Comparison Of 'Incident By Langston Hughes Theme For English B'

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No two things are exactly the same! This applies to people, writing, and poetry as well. The two poems “Incident’’ by Langston Hughes and “Theme for English B’’ by Countee Cullen; are two different but yet very similar poems. This is because not only are the themes of the poems different but the structure and the point of view that the poems are written in differ as well; still in all containing very alike attributes! Between the two poems the themes are different but yet quite similar! “Incident’’ is about a young African American child who experiences racism first hand in the streets of Baltimore. He/she states “Once riding in old Baltimore, heart filled- head filled with glee, I saw a Baltimorean keep looking straight at me. (1-4) ‘’Now I was eight and very small, and he was no whit bigger, and so I smiled, but he poked out his tongue and called me a nigger’’ (6-9) In very few lines Countee Cullen grasps the concept about how you did not have to be an adult to be criticized about being an African American. This reveals that everyone’s upbringing is not the same. Being that, the ‘’Baltimorean’’ was just a child himself, he had to be taught by someone that it was not ‘’okay’’ to be an African American and that they were to be treated differently. Clearly, the white child’s slur or comment makes the speaker become aware of just how large the differences really are between them. This then portrays that racial equality now seems impossible due to the white child’s contempt and the black child’s feelings of outcast. The youth and kindness between the Baltimorean and the speaker, presented in “glee”, has been taken away and shattered by racism. By using this specific example, Cullen successfully took advantage of this understatement... ... middle of paper ... ...tatement the speaker explains to the instructor “you are white, yet a part of me as I am a part of you, that’s American’’ (30-33). Both Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen deliver a clear message that no matter what age or race you are, we are all equal, and although these were two different experiences the core to both was racism. These themes show that they have a common topic. Cullens poem contains a rhyme scheme of a,b,c,b; while Hughes has chosen to write in free verse. ‘’Incident’’ and ‘’Theme for English B’’ are both written in first person, using pronouns such as “I.” These poems have similar characteristic within their themes, and structures but they still carry their own unique details. Whether it’s more than a difference in a topic, or even just changing the way that the poem is set up; you can find differences in poems no matter how similar they may seem.

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