I Too Langston Hughes Analysis

890 Words4 Pages
The Harlem Renaissance is a beautiful and exciting period of American Literature. Throughout class this semester we have talked about America’s literary identity crisis during and after the civil war. We have seen authors struggle with the questions of who are we and what should American literature look and sound like? As we step forward in to the Harlem Renaissance a new group of authors and artist emerge who know exactly who they are and what they have to say about life in America. “America” by Claude McKay and “I, Too” by Langston Hughes are great examples of this, they are similar in theme while written in two very different styles varying in structure and language. Both powerful poems share the same theme of being hurt and oppressed…show more content…
Whitman’s poem is an upbeat piece written about his love for America written in a traditional style, similar to McKay’s poem, with long descriptive lines. Hughes contradicts this with the structure of “I, Too.” “I, Too” is written in free verse with short lines, where only the first and last sentences get a full line to themselves. By Langston Hughes writing this way he makes the reader slow down and really digest the sentences he has broken apart. He uses simple words and common language to clearly get his thoughts across to emphasize his theme that much more. These short lines are framed by the sentences, “I, too, sing America” and “I, too am America.” The slight difference of the two sentences is extremely powerful. “I, too sing America” at the beginning of the poem is used when he is describing his unwelcomed presence at the dinner table and around guests. The next stanza he describes that tomorrow things will be different, and he will be at the dinner table, that they will be ashamed of themselves. After this he ends the poem with “I too, am America.” This frame provides a powerful emphasis to the hope and spark for change felt within Hughes that things will improve and society will welcome them
Open Document