Critical Analysis Of I Hear America Singing

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Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” is a poem about the great working class tradition in the United States in 1860. Whitman depicts working class occupations such as; carpenters, woodmakers, and shoemen as the driving force as well as the backbone of America. The occupations listed were all often done by European immigrants. The lyrics of Whitman’s poem suggest that he is unifying them by repetition of the word singing. However, Whitman noticeably goes through the whole poem without mentioning slavery. Slavery which in 1860 was legal and not abolished until 1865 played a huge factor in the thriving United States economy. In Hughes “I Too” Hughes highlights this and undermines Whitman’s credibility in “I Hear America Singing” for not acknowledging…show more content…
What Hughes is alluding to in these lines is that he believes in his renaissance time period that one day blacks will indeed be equal to whites. Hughes is telling Whitman in these lines that one day he will have no choice but to acknowledge him as an equal, and as part of the labor force; “Singing America”. To the contrary in “I Hear America Singing” Whitman is speaking of America with such admiration and nationalism along with appreciation of the ideal life that America presents. Hughes knows this and instead of saying in his poems he hopes for blacks to supersede whites in the social hierarchy structure in America, he simply in “I Too” just asks to be equal because he knows that is how America will reach its greatest…show more content…
Langston Hughes sticks it to Walt Whitman in the next two lines when he states “Eat in the kitchen/ then”. The last two lines of this poem are symbolic of equality. The kitchen in this poem symbolizes the bigger picture of American society and how unequal it is. That is why sitting in a kitchen in this poem is such a huge ordeal. The next two lines are contextually a lot more significant in the landscape of this poem in response to Walt Whitman. The next few lines state “Besides/ They’ll how beautiful I am/ And be ashamed.” This line of the poem is an absolute huge jab at Walt Whitman. What Langston Hughes is telling Walt Whitman is that he indeed he forgot to mention slavery and African Americans in “I Hear America Singing” and if he were alive today he would be ashamed at

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