Langston Hughes Theme For English B Analysis

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Langston Hughes: Theme for English B

Theme for English B is a poem that was written by Langston Hughes in 1951, a time when diversity was a controversial issue in America. The context of the poem revolves around diversity and identity in University. It is about a young black male who is attempting to discern his identity and purpose in life through an English assignment. The writer is conflicted on the tone and themes of that he should reiterate in the theme because he is the only person of color in his class. He wonders if he should assume the tone of a white student, who form the majority of the ethnic population in school or stay true to his culture. This essay will discuss the various cultural and Historical contexts that are represented in this poem. The contexts and examples will be drawn from the poem, while the analysis will be drawn from a secondary article/book on poetry. The poem reiterates the economic, educational and racial inferiority, in a cultural context, that existed between White and black people in the 1950’s. In the first stanza, the poem begins with a quote from the poet’s English teacher (Hughes 1-4):

Go Home and write
A page tonight
And let that page come out of you-
Then it will be true

Name 2
The teacher advises the students to write for the heart so that their pieces may be true.
Nonetheless, in the next stanza, Langston Hughes, professes doubt to this piece of advice because he believes that he is different from all the other students. He
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