Langston Hughes Essay

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For many years, African Americans were forced to live without a voice and many accepted the fact that they were seen as inferior to the white race. Although they were excluded from being a part of society, built up emotions constructed beautiful pieces of poetry that have become important aspects of today’s literature. Langston Hughes’, “ I Too, Sing America” and Claude Mckay’s, “The White House” will be looked at closely to determine how each poem portrays emotional discontent and conflicted emotional states. The poem by Langston Hughes begins with, “I too, sing America.” Analyzing the words “ I, too” shows that the speaker wants to be and feel included in the singing to America. This brings up the question of who else is singing to America? Looking at the word “sing” it could be in a joyful sense in which the speaker imagines America as being a big chorus, and he too wants to be part of the chorus in singing to America. He no longer wants to be left out. This line is repeated twice, which puts emphasizes on them. The next stanza says: I am the darker brother. They sent me to eat in the kitchen When company comes. But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. By saying that he is the “darker brother” he asserts his identity, but also makes a reference to brotherhood. Since he is talking about America, one can say that Hughes is referring to the brotherhood of all men in America, and therefore we are all related. The next couple of lines begins to show a historical reference to slavery, when house servants were to not be seen when guest appeared at the houses of white folks.This demonstrates the difference of private relationships versus public relationships, because in private being seen at the din... ... middle of paper ... ...hrough them. This is where the frustration is involved, because although discrimination, racism, and injustice are going on right in front of him, he cannot act out upon it. Instead, he has to just watch from the outside and keep himself untouchable and courageous. These constant feelings of discontent, and annoyance were seen frequently by African Americans who suffered from injustice acts from the white majority during these times. Many of the poems written during this time showed some sort of historical reference of maltreatment, or inequality. For years, African Americans were not allowed to have a voice, and if they did they wen’t unheard. However, when poems got published, the deep emotion, and rage that African Americans lived through for many years was released to the public, and shocked a majority of people when they quickly became influential to society.

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