Compare And Contrast Whitman And Langston Hughes

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"They 'll see how beutiful I am and be ashamed." (Hughes line 18) Both Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman talk of segregatoin in simlier and different ways. They both talk of the 1800 's era and slavery. They have different word form, rhythm and style however.

Hughes wrote "I, Too" from the perspective of an African American man - either a slave, a free man in the Jim Crow South, or even a domestic servant. The lack of a concrete identity or historical context does not mitigate the poem’s message; in fact, it confers on it a high degree of universality, for the situation Hughes describes in the poem reflects a common experience for many African Americans during his time.

The speaker begins by declaring that he too can “sing America,” meaning that he is claiming his right to feel
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The speaker does not languish in despair, however. He proclaims that "tomorrow" he will join the others at the table and no one will dare send him back to the kitchen. Not only that, but the "others" will see “how beautiful” the speaker is and will therefore feel ashamed. This statement is extremely hopeful and optimistic. The speaker demonstrates a heightened sense of self and proclaims his ambition to assert his legitimacy as a an American citizen and as a man.
The invocation of America is important, for Hughes is expressing his belief that African Americans are a valuable part of the country 's population and that he foresees a racially equal society in the near future.

Many critics believe that "I, Too" is an unofficial response to the great poet Walt Whitman’s poem, “I Hear America Singing.” This is likely given Hughes’s expressed affinity for Whitman 's work, as well as the similarity between the titles and choice of words. In Whitman’s poem, a variety of Americans - including a mechanic, carpenter, boatman, and mother - sing joyfully about America. Hughes suggests that even though the circumstances are different for African Americans, they also deserve to experience
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