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Figurative Language In Tableau By Countee Cullen

Decent Essays
Others can have an effect on people’s lives. In fact, in times of racial prejudice , it is often found that white people react differently to black people. Often, black-white relations are sought out to be malicious. In the poem Tableau, by Countee Cullen, the main characters choose to ignore racial comments. In the poem Incident, also by Countee Cullen, the main character is greatly affected by a passerby’s racial slur remarks. Although both poems are written by the same author, their figurative languages, tones, and themes are contrasting. Figurative language is often used as a means to paint a picture, especially in racist situations. In Tableau, the main characters are described to be, “Locked arm in arm they cross the way/The black boy and the white,” (Cullen 1-2). This sets up the scene of a white and black friend. An example of a metaphor would be, “The golden splendor of the day/The sable pride of night,” the white boy being the day and the black boy being the night (Cullen 3-4). This quote signifies that they need each other like the day needs the night. In Incident, there is more imagery than any other figurative language. For example, it is stated, “Now I was eight and very small,And he was no whit bigger,/ And so I smiled, but he poked out/ His tongue…” which shows that the white boy picking on the black boy were both the same size (Cullen 5-8). Another piece of figurative language would be the last stanza, “I saw the whole of Baltimore/From May until
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