Africa By Mckay

Decent Essays
Claude McKay’s “Africa” is an English sonnet also known as a traditional literary poem. It starts with an opening “The sun sought thy dim bed and brought forth light”. Referring to historical and scientific debate on of the African origins of the nation. This can also be related to biblical terminology, dim being Africa’s unlighted knowledge prior to God’s intervention and it also can be inferred that he is referring to the rich melanin of descendants from Africa.
The next line, “The sciences were sucklings at thy breasts,” plays on theory of Africa being the “Mother Land” or “The Mecca”.This is where essentially civilization begins, just like a mother having a child. The mother is a natural nurturer and essentially Mckay tied in the correlation in the second line. Mother Africa, a nurturer, raises and encourages the “sciences,” actions that foreshadow another brightening of the world to come in the Enlightenment. Lines three and four are also portraying a motherly
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The reputation is now condemned, however, it is possible for Africa to be saved, by taking a deeper look at Mckay’s simple word play. If the lines read “Of all the mighty nations of the sun, / Thou art the harlot, now thy time is done,” Africa would be made out to be a wayward woman worthy of scorn because of her blatant disregard to moral restraints. Instead, the lines state, “Thou art the harlot, now thy time is done, Of all the mighty nations of the sun.” The couplet suggests in a twisted way that Africa was pimped by the “new peoples”as they admire Africa’s beauty and wanted the same by any means necessary. In a Mckay’s very particular placement of words, Africa does not simply lose its honor , glory, and power; like a thief in the night and within a blink of an eye it was all
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