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Analysis Of I Too By Langston Hughes

Decent Essays
Langston Hughes was one of the most prominent African American writers of the twentieth century. He worked through a variety of mediums, including playwriting, songwriting, newspaper articles, memoirs, and poetry. Throughout all of his works, he constantly promoted and exhibited the rich culture and heritage of African Americans. He also made a great deal of racial commentary in his writings. His poems “I, too” and “Mother to Son” particularly illustrate these topics. Through the three poems, Hughes utilizes a variety of voices and moods, effectively commenting on the struggles of the African American experience, from its roots in slavery up to the modern day. In the poem “I, too,” Hughes utilizes a collective form of the word “I” to…show more content…
They were kept out of sight, especially when other guests were present. However, **I’d say something here like “Hughes contends/suggests,”** the slaves were not beaten down by their mistreatment; on the contrary, it added fuel to the fire. The speaker says that, while in the kitchen “I laugh / And eat well, / and grow strong” (6-8). There is a quiet defiance in his words; he laughs at his owners as he grows stronger and perseveres. The mood of defiance grows stronger into the third stanza. The speaker states “tomorrow, / I’ll be at the table/ When company comes/ Nobody’ll dare / Say to me, / “Eat in the kitchen,” / Then.” (8-14). Here, the word “tomorrow” does not literally mean the next day; rather, he means that in the future, he will take his rightful place at the table, as an equal among all people. Nobody will be able to take away that God-given right. His defiant and hopeful tone continues through his words: “Besides, / They’ll see how beautiful I am / And be ashamed” (15-17). He ends the poem with another bold statement that expounds upon the opening of the poem: “I, too, am America” (19). The entire poem leads up to this assertion, that African Americans are a vital part of America, as much a part of it as the whites. Another poem by Hughes, “Mother to Son,” is told from the perspective of a black mother, who is telling her son of her struggles, yet how she always endured. Hughes use of voice in this poem is especially
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