“I, Too Sing America” by Langston Hughes Essay

Published: 2021-06-20 10:35:05
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Poem “I. Too Sing America ” is considered to be really characteristic for extremist poesy of Langston Hughes. The bulk of literary reviews and historiographers refer to Hughes as one of the first American poets. who set the criterions and examples how to dispute the post-World War I cultural patriotism. His poesy contributed and shaped to some extent the political relations of the Harlem Renaissance. In analysis of Black poesy Charles S. Johnson wrote that the new racial poesy of the Negro is the look of something more than experimentation in a new technique ; it marks the birth of a new racial consciousness and self-conception. It is first of all a blunt credence of race. but the acknowledgment of this difference without the usual deductions of disparity ( 145 ) . Bing acquainted with many Hughes’s plants. for case “Our Land. ” “The Negro Speaks of Rivers. ” and of class “I. Too Sing America. ” Johnson confirmed that poet had a strong sense of “race pride” and characterized Hughes’s poesy to be “without doubt the finest look of this new Negro Poetry” ( 145 ) .
Some literary reviews refer to Hughes’s verse form “I Too Sing America” as extremist poesy. However. if in this verse form Hughes chose to give prowess for political relations. it was non because the two are reciprocally sole. The chief ground for such Hughes’s technique is that the blues aesthetic of his early verse form embraced a signifier of patriotism he could no longer stay ( 147 ) . Hughes himself concludes that the main duty of the black author was to bring forth a racial literature drawn from African American life and civilization. “We younger Negro creative persons who create. ” Hughes wrote. “now intend to show our single colored egos without fright or shame” ( 309 ) .
Onwuchekwa Jemie. who identified Hughes as a black patriot. notes that “Hughes’s insisting on a distinguishable black art … is … a acknowledgment of the fact that Afro-Americans are a distinguishable people within the American nation” ( 103 ) . Therefore. “I. Too” creates a feeling of an single versus a big group heightening the solitariness felt. The verse form recognizes an existent inequality African Americans felt during a clip period of racial favoritism. Hughes recognizes that although different in colour. all people populating in America were Americans and deserved to be treated non merely every bit. but with self-respect and award. Therefore. he poetically forecasts the tendencies America experienced in 1960’s when the equal position of inkinesss was nominal.
Hughes is non known for utilizing tonss of symbolism. His poesy is by and large consecutive frontward and to the point. There is non much hidden significance in his poesy either. What small symbolism he does usage is really deep. It can be interpreted in a many figure of ways. “I Too Sing America” has psychological and cultural mentions such as intergroup stereotyping. communicating. cooperation. and struggle. Furthermore. it sounds like a motto. entreaty to immediate action. Therefore he hides his radicalism in really rubric of the verse form. which is non a verse form at a closer expression but a vocal. It is really important to comprehend “I Too Sing America” as a vocal. emotional. extremist. political. but still focused on black aesthetics.
The verse form is about the hope of one twenty-four hours being equal ; it is expressed in each stanza at least one time.
“I laugh
And eat good
And turn strong. ”
These lines represent hope along with finding. It besides gives us penetration to the manner that Hughes uses in all his poesy. He uses wit in most of his composing to convey his message. What the laugh represents is his ideas of the hereafter. “I laugh…” They will express joy. and will be happy. Furthermore. laugh means that he’ll be able to look back.
Eating is another interesting symbol. Most likely it represents larning and cognition. Without cognition one can non foster themselves in life or do themselves better. Eating good means to larn good and retain the cognition. “Growing strong” represents the retaining of the cognition. Not merely does this mean to turn strong with cognition but for the voices of equality to turn stronger. The biggest usage of symbolism is the last line: “I. excessively. am America. ” In Walt Whitman’s verse form “I hear America singing” the American people are merely the on the job category. Anglo Saxons. The line “I. excessively. am America” shouts out that person was forgotten. an poetic reverberation of many old ages of subjugation and favoritism. Whom are you are traveling to suppress. Hughes’s reply is – yourself. Peoples oppressed themselves yesterday. are suppressing today. but will non tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and no 1 will be neglected.
The psychological and cultural mentions are non as blatantly placed as the symbolism. The darker brother represents the black adult male trough a metaphor. In society darkness is used to typify evil. Poet employs such a term non by chance. Puting “dark. ” Hughes emphasizes term “black. ” Eating in the kitchen represents repression. Most Kitchens are hidden much like the agony of African Americans. They were hidden from the company ; the company can be interpreted as a metaphor for foreign states. or people in general. Most American people were blind to the horror and ferociousness of bondage. Slavery was besides psychological. that is why the cognition is of import. Before one can lift up. one must first detect what it is they are lifting up against.
I’ll be at the tabular array
When company comes
Nobody’ll daring
Say to me.
“Eat in the kitchen’ .
Then. ”
Above lines show that “dark brothers” have learned and will no longer be held down. It besides shows the strength of their voices that no 1 will dispute any longer. It describes the hereafter and the past utilizing the kitchen as the universe. The best realisation is made at the terminal of the verse form:
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed. ”
Poet employs contrast technique to set a analogue between ugly black today and beautiful “dark brother” of tomorrow. doing a transparent window through past to future. Captive Negro delaies for tomorrow beauty and eventually he will be rewarded for his forbearance and agonies. In these last words. as many analysts believe. Hughes makes an accent on black civilization. its terrific characteristics and diverseness. Rampersad writes. “through the show of black sensitiveness. intelligence. and artistic versatility. it was believed. Whites would come to a new apprehension of the humanity of African Americans and assist to speed up societal change” ( 16 ) . If anything were traveling to convert a “white” America of the humanity and equality of inkinesss. it would hold to be “culture. ” that realm where human existences differentiate themselves from the “savage” and aspire to the Godhead.
Johnson. Charles S. Jazz and Blues. Critical Essays on Langston Hughes. Ed. Edward J. Mullen. Boston: Hallway. 1986.
Onwuchekwa. Jemie. Hughes’s Black Esthetic. Critical Essays on Langston Hughes. Ed. Edward J. Mullen. Boston: Hallway. 1986.
Rampersad. Arnold. Introduction. The New Negro. Ed. Alain Locke. New York: Athenaeum: 1992.
Hughes L. Good Morning Revolution: Uncollected Hagiographas of Langston Hughes. Ed. Faith Berry. New York: Carol Publishing Group. 1992. 159-61.

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