Poems English B” and “I, Too”, the poet

Poems tend to always have a deeper meaning than what the reader perceives. Poet Langston Hughes uses many literary devices that provoke the meaning of racism and discrimination. For instance in the two poems “Theme for English B” and “I, Too”, the poet uses symbolism, personification, imagery, and metaphors to leave the readers with and impression that he foresees a time where all Americans join together and coexist harmoniously. Amid a period in American History,  African Americans had no privileges of the right to speak freely or even a privilege to vote. Experiencing childhood in a wide range of urban areas and living with numerous relatives, Langston Hughes experienced poverty. Langston Hughes utilized verse to address the general population. Langston Hughes is a pioneer of African American writing and the Harlem renaissance error. Mr. Hughes devoted his sonnets to the battles, pride, dreams, and racial shameful acts of African American individuals. Langston Hughes was conceived James Langston Hughes, February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. Langston Hughes, named after his granddad James Mercer Langston, was the primary African American chosen to open office in 1855. Langston Hughes, mother and father soon separated when he was still a child. Mr. Hughes father moved to Mexico, as he and his mom moved regularly remaining with relatives. Hughes at long last remained with his grandma until his mom re-wedded in 1915. When, Langston Hughes mother re-wedded he moved to Lincoln, Illinois and after that to Cleveland, Ohio where he went to Central High school. During highschool, Langston began to compose poetry and short scholarly stories in the schools magazine (Hughes). After graduating in June 1920, Langston Hughes spent time with his dad in Mexico and instructing English. Amid the time, Langston Hughes went through with his dad he began composing for the Crisis magazine, in which distributed by the NAACP. The NAACP had a powerful influence in the social equality development this enabled Langston to send poetry and writing frequently to the Crisis magazine. Langston Hughes left Mexico to seek after school in Columbia University. As he attended Columbia University he grew to be dissatisfied with the kind of formal education he received at college. After that time of confusion, he went on to write, travel, lecture, and perform his poetry across the country and throughout the world. In his poems, Hughes develops and illustrates the various ways to understand our identities. Although Langston Hughes had passed  May 22, 1967 the meanings and significances of his verses are still known today. Langston Hughes has written many poems that provoke the significance of racial inequality and discrimination against African Americans. For example, the poem “Theme for English B” is about a speaker who is an African American that has an assignment to just write a page, from the self and be honest. Hughes, the speaker is confused and questions the assignments simplicity and debates what is true for Americans, black or white. When reading and analyzing the poem, one could interpret that the writer has been asked to speak truthfully about his sentiments, so therefore he describes the struggles of discrimination. Throughout “Theme for English B”, Hughes has developed numerous themes to show the central point of racial injustices. One theme that was unfolded throughout the stanzas was unity. Hughes made it clear throughout his verses that people may learn from each other no matter what their ethnicity is, so we should treat one another equally. For example, “The poem introduces the reader to the dilemma of this student attempting to understand what sets him apart from his white peers, although he isn’t different in any essential way, he’s human.” (“”Theme for’Analysis”) This evidence provides support to everyone being equal because we’re all American and share common likes like wanting to work, read, learn, and understand life. Also, “as the student explains, despite our differences and even our desires to pull apart and see ourselves as independent, autonomous, and not in relation to one another, we remained connected.” (“”Theme for’Analysis”) This shows that even though Hughes was looked at as unequal, he created literature that could be used to show others they were the same. Throughout “Theme for English B” the theme unity was developed as Langston discussed the equality between different ethnicities. In the poem “Theme for English B”, the author Langston Hughes uses many poetic devices to ultimately illustrate the meaning of the words behind the verses. One of the literary devices utilized throughout “Theme for English B” was imagery. Throughout the lines Hughes describes and illustrates a scene where he’s the only African American in a class of all white students. These words that have been utilized throughout the stanzas contributes to the feeling of discrimination. In particular, in the poem it states, “I am the only colored student in my class.” (line 10) This quote is significant because it shows that the speaker feels different from the world around him. Also, the author provides us details to create an image where he feels misplaced. Another quote that makes the reader feel the speaker’s confusement in life is, “I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.” (line 7) Here, discrimination plays a major role in the speaker’s life, and therefore he has no true idea who he is and where he stands in the world. “Let the page come out of you,” the instructor commands, a necessity, he explains, if what’s written is said to be “true.” (“”Theme for’Analysis”) This research supports the fact that the speaker was told to write a honest paper about his true identity. Another piece of evidence is, “The equation here is that if one writes out of the self, then it will be sincere and accurate representation of that self.” (“”Theme for’Analysis”) The speaker questions the nature of the assignment and its seeming simplicity, thus the speaker returns to identity-determining ground by defining himself. Hughes words have illustrated many images to the reader that contribute to the feeling of discrimination and misplacement in the world.Another poetic device that was used throughout the poem “Theme for English B” was personification. Personification was important and significant all through the poem because it contributed to the speaker talking about his sentiments of modern society. An example of personification was in the phrase, “And let that page come out of you…” (line 4) This means that whatever the page is, it is supposed to reflect something deep about who the writer truly is. Personification was also used in the poem when Hughes says, “So will my page be colored that I write?” (line 27) The true meaning of this statement was that the speaker realizes he’s connected to people of all races, by liking things everyone likes. For instance, “Hughes tells us what the occasion for the “theme” and the poem will be-an apparently simple assignment.” (“”Theme for’Analysis”) This shows that the page is going to be written to somehow  characterize the writer. Hughes uses the literary device personification to “further indicate the centrality of difference in establishing identity.” (“”Theme for’Analysis”) Throughout the lines of “Theme for English B” Hughes uses the poetic device personification to make an argument that no matter who we are or where we are from we are all the same. The speaker then realizes that the diverse color of your skin, your background , and your culture does not take away your common humanity. Another poem written by the poet Langston Hughes that signifies and addresses the American dream to be considered equal is called “I, Too”. In this poem the speaker envisions a future in which he is no longer unequal. Throughout the poem the speaker asserts that he and his race are American no matter what people say.  As one reads through “I, Too” one could interpret that the writer dreams that one day people will see not only his beauty, but other African Americans. Then, after they’ve discovered and seen his real beauty they will be ashamed for turning him away. Many themes have  been developed from “I, Too”. For instance the themes Equality and Inequality are a huge portion talked about throughout the poem. The speaker possesses a persistent optimism, in which someday everyone will be considered equal. “In the poem, the poet shares his hope for a future in which all black people will share equally with white people.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) The speaker wants to be considered worthy enough to be called equal. Also, the themes equality and inequality are further shown when it says, “The poet looks towards a tomorrow in which black Americans will be invited to sit at the table with white Americans and share in the same dreams and opportunities that white people have enjoyed.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) Hughes wants to be able to share the same opportunities and dreams as whites. All in all, throughout the poem “I,Too” Langston Hughes develops many themes, which include equality and inequality. Mr. Hughes has utilized numerous poetic devices throughout the poem “I,Too.” One example of a poetic device that was used was metaphors. The importance of Hughes using metaphors is that he uses them to assert his identity not only as a black man, but as a part of American Society. For instance when he says, “I am the darker brother.” (line 2) he’s using a metaphor. This essentially means that he is a part of America’s “brotherhood”, even though he’s African American. Here Hughes is acting as a voice and platform for all of the black community in America. Another example of a metaphor is when Hughes states, “Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table/ When company comes…” (line 8-10) Langston alludes to a future time when blacks and whites will be equal. Ultimately metaphors have been used by Hughes to explain that  the “tomorrow” here is truly implying a future time when blacks and whites will be equivalent. This uniformity is communicated through the speaker’s attestation that he, as well, will “be at the table” whenever they host a get-together. “The poet claims that he’s an American and entitled to the same privileges as all others, including the right to eat with Americans of any racial or ethnic background.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) More research that supports the meaning behind Hughes’ lines is that, “In “I,Too” the poet demands that basic rights for all humanity be extended to all people, regardless of skin color.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) This research explains the meaning behind Hughes’ metaphor when he says “I am the darker brother…” These quotes support the statement that Hughes uses metaphors to show he is included in the American Society. Another poetic device that is shown in the poem is symbolism. Symbolism throughout the poem is significant because the symbolism shown represents the time period in which African Americans were unequal. An example of symbolism is represented when the speaker says, “They send me to eat in the kitchen/When company comes,…” (lines 3-4) This is a representation of symbolism because this poem was written during a time period when blacks were oppressed. The eating in the kitchen also symbolizes the time period where whites tried to  weaken the African American Society. “The narrator reminds readers that there are additional reasons for giving the black American the equality he deserves. (“”I,Too’Analysis”) Hughes talks about his beauty that provides a reason to end segregation, and throughout the poem he uses symbolism to support his argument. Hughes also “Talks about the beauty of existence and that when whites realize blacks are beautiful, they’ll be ashamed of ever denying them.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) All through Hughes poem symbolism has been used to explain that there will be a time when whites realize blacks are beautiful, and when they do they’ll be ashamed and embarrassed of not treating them equal. Ultimately Mr. Hughes uses metaphors and symbolism that are significant to the time period where he wanted blacks to be treated without racial injustices. Many connections of the poet’s life and their poetry can be seen in the two poems “Theme for English B” and “I, Too.” Hughes was often referred to as the “poet laureate” of the Harlem Renaissance. Both of the poems are connected because they are both based off of Black citizens being classified as second rate in society. Langston Hughes looks to achieve two purposes in these poems. In the first place, he is depicting the African American involvement with a period when African Americans were not just thought to be not as much as human, surely unworthy of being viewed as “American”, and how those encounters are so distinctly unique in relation to his white partners. Furthermore, in depicting his experience he endeavors to show the fundamental human similarities between both African Americans and whites regardless of the conspicuous dissimilarity between the two races. When the poet says “I, too, am America.” (line 18) he means that even if blacks aren’t “considered” equal, they still love America the same. For example, “The joining of black and white people envisioned in the poem is not a willing union, but one that occurs because black Americans will no longer tolerate segregation.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) Here the connection of both of the poems is that Hughes hopes “change” will come ultimately in the words of his poem. Sheri Metzger Karmiol says, “The truth of the poem is more complex than this and requires that readers carefully consider Hughe’s words.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) She also states that, “His words reveal a deeper truth and a warning: once the black narrator has grown strong, whites will no longer dare to exclude him.” (“”I,Too’Analysis”) As one could see both of the poems “Theme for English B” and “I,Too” meanings are both connected, in which Hughes wanted to celebrate life and culture and influence the lives of everyone. To conclude, Langston Hughes uses many literary devices that provoke the meaning of racism and discrimination. The poet uses symbolism, personification, imagery, and metaphors to leave the readers with an impression that he foresees a time where all Americans join together and coexist harmoniously. The connection between the two poems was that the speaker envisions time period where blacks and whites will unite, although there might be discrimination and differences between the ethnicities. Hughes ultimately conveys the importance of equality throughout the poems “Theme for English B” and “I,Too”. Mr. Hughes wants the reader to understand that this is not just a personal experience, but a voice of his people.


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