Countee Tollen's Poem In Tableau And Incident By Countee Cullen

Decent Essays

Racial injustice and racial harmony have both been seen throughout all of history. Both can even be seen almost everyday. One writer, Countee Cullen, revealed what the world is and what is should be like through his poems during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. The two key poems that present this are “Tableau” and “Incident.” He reveals harmony between a white and black boy in “Tableau,” representing the people of the United States of America and how they should be. Later, he uncovers the prejudice against black people in “Incident,” through the perspective of a black child who is ridiculed for being black by another little boy in Baltimore. He helped show how races should be in harmony through the main points of the poem this way. But, each poem has similarities and differences, seen through the diction of the author. The author creates the theme actions often speak louder than words in “Tableau,” and creates the theme sometimes the smallest things can hurt the most in “Incident,” by using the figurative language and tone throughout each poem. The tone in each poem was crucial to deliver the theme. In “Tableau,” the tone is powerful, helping to reveal the uplifting and inspiring theme. This can be seen because of the boys being “[o]blivious to look and word / They pass, and see no wonder” (Cullen 9-10). The tone here makes the harmony of the black and white boys to surmount the gossip and backtalk of the people, emphasizing how their actions were more important than

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