America By Claude Mckay Essay

Decent Essays

Have you ever felt excluded from society? Many people throughout history have, and the speaker in Claude McKay’s poem “America” is no different. The speaker is a man who is educated but is living in America during a period of violence and conflict. He has a strong response to being excluded that has advantages and disadvantages. “America” has a speaker that doesn’t exactly explain why he’s been excluded. He uses a series of images to show that he has been excluded from mainstream or dominant society. In line 1, the speaker says, “...she feeds me bread of bitterness” (McKay line 1). Then he says, “She sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth” (2). Finally, he says, America is “...stealing my breath of life...” to show that the country is attacking him. All of these lines show that the county is out to get him. I think he must have had a hard time because of his feelings. …show more content…

He shows that he won’t let the country get him down or keep him excluded. You can see this when he says, “I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!” (4). You can also tell that what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger in lines 5 and 6. “Her vigor flows like tides into my blood Giving me strength erect against her hate.” This means that he’s taking the worst that the county can dish out and is using to make himself better. He won’t take this lying down, either. He says he’s like a rebel confronting a king and says that he stands within her walls without a shred of terror, malice, not a word of jeer. I don’t know what he wants his readers to do. He loses his focus and offers a prediction where the country has fallen apart. In the future, nothing is good. “I see her might and granite wonders there.... like priceless treasures sinking in the sand” (15-16). This shows that society will fail unless he is included. So instead of taking action or telling society what to do directly, he just says what will happen if nothing changes. This is meant to tell society to

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