The Theme Of Claude Mckay's 'America'

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Humanity often struggles accepting change in a hateful world. People seldom understand this melancholy idea better than Claude McKay. Claude McKay, a figurehead of the Harlem Renaissance, has multitudes poems, containing a broad spectrum of theme, from reflecting the Jamaican peasant life to challenging white authority in America. McKay rarely withholds emotions, especially those of bitterness, and his poetry often reflects the oppressive life in his early years. This oppression paved the way for poems speaking of the injustices and prejudice’s that impacted the lives of colored men and women in society. “America” illustrates the conflicting emotions a person has while overcoming adversity and finding his or her place in society. This piece explores McKay’s feelings toward America. The first stanza is his feelings of contempt and appreciation for the country, while the second stanza is where the he accepts what is. Despite his reluctance, he soon becomes to love his new home. Anyone who has ever moved can relate to this. Where one misses his or her former home so much, but he or she knows he or she has to learn to love this new one. One feels so angry towards the new place, but then learns to appreciate it and love it for what it is. Through analyzing form and theme in “America”, Claude McKay emphasizes society’s reluctance towards change. The format of “America” symbolizes the opposition one may have towards leaving his or her comfort zone. During the time of the Harlem
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