Analysis Of The Poem ' Ballad Of The Landlord '

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Kenneth Olacio Professor Elayan English 2300 20 November 2015 Struggles Of a Black Man “Ballad of the Landlord” is a poem by Langston Hughes that shows the struggles of a black man in a white society. There are opposing forces that make this black man suffer and he gets no retribution or any justice for the things that the people accuse him of. Through each of these voices the poem is thoroughly explained and can be analysed in such a way. The forces in this poem is the tenant, landlord, police, and the press. Each one of these forces shows the racial struggles of an innocent black man. The main person in the poem is the tenant, which in the last line tells us, he is black. The tenant is characterized by his slang and his strong dislike for the landlord. The tenant uses slang, contracted words, and nonstandard grammar. This non formal way of English suggests the tenant’s separation from the world of convention, represented by the formal way of the police and the press, which appear later in the poem. Although the tenant speaks in a non formal way, do not let that fool you. The tenant’s reason to be mad at the landlord is reasonable and just. He begins with a reasonable complaint and a kind of sarcastic reminder that the complaint is a week old: “My roof has sprung a leak. / Don’t you ’member I told you about it / Way last week?” (lines 2-4). In the next complaint, he tries to be warn the landlord about his own self when the tenant brings up the stairs, saying its wonder

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