Langston Hughes wrote the poem, “I, Too” in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance, a period of Black American history which brought to light distinctive views of the world via the eyes of a individuals who have been usually subjugated and downtrodden. Issues of racial prejudice have been prevalent in the course of the Harlem Renaissance and segregation a fact of life. In the poem, “I,Too,” Hughes brings consideration to this subjugation by portraying the life of a black male servant.
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He places forth his views of the therapy different people of his race have lengthy needed to endure by way of the masterful use of symbolism, irony and easy diction.
There are many examples of symbolism within the poem, “I, Too”. America is used as an emblem to portray the concepts of equality, variety, and perseverance. By reminding readers that the nation allowed and condoned segregation of his race, Hughes points out that although this was a type subjugation, it could presumably be overcome.
Even though America was at fault, the nation nonetheless provided opportunities for many who would dare to strive tougher, to develop stronger, to push past the embarrassment of being labeled differently.
America might nonetheless hold hope for individuals of any race. As nicely, the use of the word “I” in both the poem’s title and all through the verses, is an emblem. Hughes makes use of himself as the quintessential example of his Black American heritage in a means that provokes the reader to think about he, and his race, are perceived.
In utilizing the title, “I, Too”, Langston Hughes portrays himself as yet one more image of a portion of the American inhabitants.
Repetitive use of the word “they” refers to his employers, who’re presumably White, and subsequently symbolize the remainder of American society (Hughes, in Madden). Their remedy of him, such as making him eat within the kitchen, becomes the illustration of the way Black Americans, in general, are treated. By utilizing these private terms, Hughes has managed to employ symbolism in a method that also connects him to others.
Hughes also states “I, too, sing America” and here he is utilizing irony, as such a thing isn’t really attainable. The irony is that he praises America and its values whereas on the similar time drawing consideration to the greatest way he is seen as one method or the other inferior to others due to the color of his skin. The ending traces, which embody the phrase “they’ll…be ashamed” are additionally ironic (Hughes, in Madden). The poem was written to spotlight the truth that Black Americans have been handled as one thing to be ashamed of and Hughes denounces this truth, creating irony by stating the obvious.
This use of irony portrays Hughes’ condemnation of sure features of society. The straightforward diction of the poem belies its deeper that means. Through the usage of simple vocabulary and somewhat uncommon syntax, Hughes delivers a strong message in a fashion that even an off-the-cuff reader can understand. Short phrases easily roll of the tongue while breaking some of them up into odd traces makes the reader think about their that means in a special, however directed, way.
By adding breaks between such passages as “tomorrow” and “I’ll be at the table”, Hughes creatively draws consideration to the fact that he, and his race, will be stronger, and richer, and more respected when the White people of America least count on it (Hughes, in Madden). In this manner, too, does Hughes deliver the tense of the poem from present to future. Hughes is adept at using diction to define the tone and deepen the understanding of underlying themes in his poetry. Langston Hughes’ reputation as an essential poet and writer was based mostly on works similar to “I, Too” which state a profound issue in easy terms.
By analyzing the usage of symbolism, irony, and the diction Hughes employs, the more important, underlying, ideas come to mild. Hughes does this by reiterating the fundamental delight and love he retains for the nation of America while subtly stating the method in which Black Americans are handled as hypocritical and unfair. America is a land founded on freedoms, and equality, range, and perseverance are the qualities which will enable all residents, no matter skin colour, to succeed in their objectives and notice their goals.