Comparison Of Langston Hughes And I Too Sing America

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Hear our Voice Langston Hughes and Claude McKay share similar qualities in their respective poems “I, Too, Sing America” written by Hughes and “America” written by McKay. These poems, though different and unique in style, share common characteristics that make each poem a classic piece of American literature. Hughes and McKay, both African American males, were very notable during the Harlem Renaissance period. Both writers express their views on their individual African Americans perceptions in America in these poems, through their use of diction, tone, theme. Diction plays a large role in in conveying deep meaning within the two poems. Both writers use figurative and emotional vocabulary throughout each line. In “I Too, Sing America”, Hughes begins the first line using a figurative metaphor, “I too am the darker brother / They send me to eat in the kitchen” (Hughes 1-2). When Hughes refers to the narrator as the darker brother, the metaphor is actually referring the the African American community, not just a singular person. The second metaphor in line 2 attributes to the social divide and mistreatment between whites and blacks. This method of writing is mirrored in McKay’s “America”, “Although she feeds me bread of bitterness / And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth” (McKay 1-2 ). The diction McKay chooses to use, urges readers to empathize a feeling of sorrow and animosity towards America. He does this by using words such “bitterness” and “sinks into my throat”.
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