Langston Hughes, A Prominent And Influential Figure During The Harlem Renaissance

Decent Essays

Langston Hughes was a prominent and influential figure during the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes published many works of literature during the 1920s. However, he often neglected to develop a specific subject in his writing, and instead wrote about the common man. The black community was upset with him because they thought he depicted the adversity and negative aspects of black life. The poem I Too exemplifies the matter of the lack of development of a central character.
At first glimpse of the poem, one might believe that the poem is written from an oppressed black person’s perspective. However, after further analyzing the true meaning of the poem, the speaker of the poem becomes indistinguishable. The outlook of the poem is clearly stated through a black person’s lens, but the background of the black person is unknown. This poem could have been written from a variety of different upbringings of black people: a past slave, a current servant, or even a black person who was forever free. The criticism Hughes faced for supposedly writing about the hardships black people endured is quite clear because there is no distinct subject of this poem. The black community of the Harlem Renaissance celebrated writing and music to alleviate the pain they endured through history up until that point. Sadly, Hughes’ I Too does not alleviate that pain. Instead, it acts as a deterrent to the joy blacks experienced during the Harlem Renaissance because his poem has a high degree of

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