Langston Hughes And Countee Cullen Analysis

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The poetry of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen both focus on the idea that African Americans are deeply impacted by the issue of racism in the 1920’s America. This concentration on the issue of racism can be seen in poems “I, Too” published in 1926 by Langston Hughes and “Incident” published in 1925 by Countee Cullen. These poems are extremely similar in the way that they use the image of a particular incident to point out this societal flaw. In “I Too” Hughes uses the allegorical example of an African American being sent away from the table: “I am the darker brother. / They send me to eat in the kitchen/ When company comes, / But I laugh, / And eat well, / And grow strong” (Hughes 2-7). Countee Cullen also points out the racism in society by using an example from his childhood: “I saw a Baltimorean / Keep looking straight at me.…show more content…
These two poets both use similar examples to point out the racism in their time, and this similarity continues in the regard that they both have a very strong response. Hughes describes his response by saying: “Tomorrow, / I’ll be at the table / When company comes. / Nobody’ll dare / Say to me, / ‘Eat in the kitchen’” (Hughes 8-13). Similarly, Cullen has a strong reaction to experiencing racism: “I saw the whole of Baltimore/ From May until December; / Of all the things that happened there / That's all that I remember” (Cullen 9-12). Although Cullen’s reaction is less forceful, they both show the impact racism has on their emotions and their memories through their poetry. Overall, both of these writers were able to use their poetry to portray the issue of racism in the
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