Langston Hughes speaks out against racism in the poem I, Too. He speaks about how it affects him and how change needs to be made. His goal in the poem is to inspire his audience to make a change in the way society treats African Americans. The author uses symbolism and metaphors to humanize society by portraying it as a household, in order to display to the reader the racial discriminations going on within the time period and what needs to change in the future.
To start, Hughes utilizes metaphors throughout the poem to portray the disconnection between the narrator and society within the household. At the start of the poem the narrator begins with the statement “I, too, sing America.” (Hughes, line 1). This quote is so important because it …show more content…
Within the poem there is a dinner party going on inside of the house and the narrator describes what it is like being a part of the party as an African American. The party is used to symbolize society and the narrator is symbolizing the African American people and how the “rest of the party” is sending him away and blocking him out like he is not a part of society. For example, when the author says “I’ll be at the table.” (Hughes, line 9) He doesn't mean that he will actually be seated at a table he is saying he will be a part of society as opposed to being on the outside when he wouldn’t be allowed to. Hughes was a very influential person during the Harlem Renaissance, he was a leader amongst the black culture and was a trailblazer fighting for the rights of all African Americans. So when he connects the Civil Rights battle to the kitchen using symbolism it helps specifically the white audience to get a good picture of what it is like to live under oppression since they probably have never had to deal with that. The quote “They send me to eat in the kitchen “ (Hughes, line 3). Is used to show the audience what it is like to be sent away from the rest of the people because you are different and how you have to take that kind of oppression by almost ignoring it. Like he does here “But I laugh, - And eat well, - And grow strong.” (Hughes, lines 6-8). He laughs and grows stronger from the segregation and it makes him a better person because of it. This shows how the symbolism of the house helps the audience get a good grasp of what the real oppression is like from the receiving
When he acknowledges the people that he relates to, it gives them a sense of value. Who you are is what makes you valuable and although it was not expressed with the most pleasant diction, Hughes still gives them value. He also identifies the men who haven’t had it so tough. He stresses how their wealth and desire for power have changed who Americans should be.
In “Let America Be America Again” Langston Hughes uses an abundant amount of imagery, tone and has a specific style of writing to show how America never was the “America” people thought it was. Hughes uses a lot of imagery when he explains jobs of certain people, “I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil. I am the worker sold to the machine. I am the negro, servant to you all…”.
Something this poem did, is that it made the fascists realize that they are no different than the people of a different skin tone, Langston Hughes wrote that the so called “All Americans” technically weren’t all America, because of their ancestors. That was something that many people did not think about during the period of hatred that America went
The main themes of Langston Hughes’ poetry is using simple language to bring his point across about politics and equality. The accessibility of his poetry allowed for, at a time where education was still a privilege and very much segregated, for people of every background to understand the message he was
This provides the reader with the ultimate message of the poem that Langston Hughes tries to get to the world. Langston Hughes claims that “There’s never been equality” in America, that it lacks freedom in this so-called homeland of the free (Hughes, Line 16). This goes back to Hughes' message on how African Americans had endured inequality by Hughes telling that they never had equality. The use of connotations in the poem allows readers to hold the feeling of appeal to the poem and to add more personal feelings to words. The topic that African Americans do not have equality affects readers by making them reflect on how lucky they do not have to deal with inequality.
Langston Hughes uses poetry to speak on the topic of social injustice, something that he and many others view as important and that needs to be spoken about. He did this by writing three poems: “I Too”, “Democracy”, and “Let America Be America Again”. The poem “I Too" is about an African American man who is sent away into a kitchen because the house he worked for had company coming over. The man retaliates by deciding he is no longer going to leave for any company. The poem “Democracy” is about an African American man who is upset that others are telling him to be patient and wait but he is tired of waiting because he does not have the same rights as white men in America.
Langston Hughes’s “I, Too,” tells of the black experience during the early 1920s and can still connect to what it is today. An expert from his poem reads, “they send me to eat in the kitchen /when company comes /but I laugh and eat well/ and grow strong.” I have not held black Americans in the same regard as their white counterparts since the early days of this country. As the fight for civil rights continues, pieces of literature such as Hughes’s serve as a beacon of hope to the black community and other minority groups in the country that one day they too will have a seat at the table.
The culture of most blacks was unwanted during this time. For this reason Hughes desired to make a change and illustrate such cultural identities in his poems. In doing this he caused a shift in ideas among all people. Although the change didn’t happen immediately it did eventually occur. With that said the African American people were given less of an opportunity at jobs, schooling, and most importantly culture.
In the poem, Langston Hughes outlines the African American, as not being recognized as having a place within society, and being an oppressed group of people. This is shown in the first line of the poem when he says “I, too, sing America. ”(Hughes, 1) By saying, “I, too, sing America,”(Hughes, 1) the audience can interpret that, Langston Hughes sees society as a choir, all ‘singing’ together. This is saying that he, is also part of that ‘choir,’ and has an equal voice within this society. The audience can also see how he is not equal, as he is
It addressed the issues that were faced by African Americans in the United States during that time . Langston Hughes' poem encouraged people not to take the issue of democracy lightly and to fight for their rights. He did not directly talk about race, but a huge part of his work had to do with life for African Americans in the United States. Hughes was often criticized for portraying life in such a negative fashion. However, his writing was politicized, and as such, he sought to produce poems with a message.
In the poem “I, Too”, the author Langston Hughes illustrates the key aspect of racial discrimination faces against the African Americans to further appeals the people to challenge white supremacy. He conveys the idea that black Americans are as important in the society. Frist, Hughes utilizes the shift of tones to indicate the thrive of African American power. In the first stanza, the speaker shows the sense of nation pride through the use of patriotic tone. The first line of the poem, “I, too, sing America” states the speaker’s state of mind.
Langston Hughes poems “Harlem” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” are two poems that have a deeper meaning than a reader may notice. Hughes 's poem “Harlem” incorporates the use of similes to make a reader focus on the point Hughes is trying to make. In “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Hughes shows how close he was to the rivers on a personal level. With those two main focuses highlighted throughout each poem, it creates an intriguing idea for a reader to comprehend. In these particular poems, Hughes’s use of an allusion, imagery, and symbolism in each poem paints a clear picture of what Hughes wants a reader to realize.
In the poem, the speaker tells us how they have told him to eat in the kitchen when company comes. However, because he also represents America, in the last stanza, our speaker states that he will no longer eat in the kitchen. This poem uses varies elements of tone and refrain to put into perspective of how blacks are Americans to. The speakers says, “They'll see how beautiful I am/and be ashamed--/I, too, am America (“I, Too” 16-18)”. These particular lines state that no matter what color he is, he is also beautiful and filled with
The second speaker also reshapes the first two lines of the entire poem into a plea to the majority. Beforehand, the first speaker uses those lines as a call for the old American spirit to be revived: “Let America be America again / Let it be the dream it used to be” (1-2). Both speakers change the meaning of the lines to express their thoughts on America. As a result, the poem expresses the desire for everyone to be treated equally in the land of freedom. The readers can relate to the speaker because they wish that everyone has equal rights in the country that proclaims itself to be the symbol of freedom.
How the Theme is Developed with Literary Techniques in “I, Too” Literary techniques highly affect the way a poem flows and the message it delivers. The use of a technique is to create a deeper meaning to something or to convey an important theme. The poem “I, Too” by Langston Hughes utilizes metaphors and symbolism to develop the idea that people are equal and deserve to be treated with justice and respect no matter what skin color they have. First and Foremost, Hughes uses metaphors such as the “kitchen” and “table” to develop the idea that people are segregated. The “kitchen” part of the metaphor builds on the idea that the speaker is being segregated and not taken into account because he is being “[sent] to eat in the kitchen” (3).