Incident By Countee Cullen Analysis

Decent Essays
Racial injustice was a very prominent problem in the 1920’s and continued to be for a long time. Two poems by Countee Cullen titled “Tableau” and “Incident” attempt to change the view on racial issues. The poem “Tableau” tells about two boys who were of different races. These two boys stunned the town by showing them their friendship. Another poem “Incident” is about a young boy who was excited to go on a trip to Baltimore. This trip was ruined because all he could remember was a boy around his age calling him a mean racial slur. Both of these poems tried to change racial views at the time by using figurative language, tone, and theme. By using figurative language the author expresses his views on racial injustice. In “Tableau” Countee Cullen uses the simile “[t]hat lightning brilliant as a sword / [s]hould blaze the path of thunder” to create a feeling of power. This simile uses strong words like lightning and thunder to show the change the boys are making. By everyone seeing these boys be friends despite their races. This hopefully made some people wake up and realize race does not matter. The poem “Incident” by Countee Cullen uses imagery in powerful ways like “[h]eart-filled, head-filled with glee” to create a sense of cheeriness and later on sorrow. Near the start of the poem a young child is extremly happy to be traveling to Baltimore. Although, by the end of the poem the kid is upset because all he remembers about his trip was another child calling him a racial slur.
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