Comparing Gwendolyn Brooks The Explorer And Robert Hayden's Frederick Douglass

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There are many ways to interpret a literary text. You can interpret it from different levels, such as the literal level, the rhetorical level, or even the metaphysical level. Readers can also view texts from various critical lenses. This is due to the fact that when authors write texts, they often put in many different aspects of various things that can all be interpreted in any number of ways. Poets such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Hayden are good examples of authors who write texts which can be interpreted in many different ways. Gwendolyn Brooks’, The Explorer and Robert Hayden's Frederick Douglass can both be interpreted in both a social perspective as well as in an archetypal perspective. By viewing Gwendolyn Brooks’, The Explorer and Robert Hayden's Frederick Douglass in a social perspective, it is clear to see that they both reflect the struggles of African Americans during the mid-twentieth century. Both of these texts portray a time in American history in which African…show more content…
Brooks does a good job of expressing universal longing in her poem by stating, “Grand griefs. And choices”(p.1064 line 11). By saying grand griefs, Brooks is relaying the idea that there are certain griefs that are felt by humans as a species, and not each one as an individual. Similarly, in his poem, Frederick Douglass, Hayden states, “When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful and terrible thing, needful to man as air, usable as earth”(p.1067 lines 1-4). In this excerpt, the author portrays the idea that freedom is something that all men need, not just whites or African Americans, but the entire human population of the world. Through this, it is clear that both authors texts can be seen through an archetypal perspective which expresses universal human
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