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Langston Hughes Theme For English B Analysis

Decent Essays
Best known for bringing tough issues into his writing, Langston Hughes has an important place in the history of American poetry. Growing up as a young black man in southern America, he saw and experienced firsthand the struggles of a colored man trying to find his place in the world. As a member of the Harlem Renaissance, which was a group of black writers in New York City, Langston Hughes, helped lead the Civil Rights Movement. In Theme for English B, told from the point of view of a young black student, Hughes can relate first hand to the speaker’s struggles. Following this further, Theme for English B focuses on the interaction between a white professor and a black student whose assignment to “write down what comes out of him” forces him…show more content…
(7-10)
Clearly, in line 7 the word “colored” gives the reader an image of the point in time that this poem has taken place, the term “colored” is racist in the current day and time. Further showing racial imagery, Langston Hughes uses the speaker to inform the reader he is the only black student in the class. Additionally isolating the speaker, he questions his own race, stating, “I guess being colored doesn’t make me NOT like / the same things other folks like who are other races.” (25-26). The reader can feel that the speaker connects to other races, showing he “likes the same things” thus, he is like any other American. Langston Hughes uses the poetic element of voice to illustrate the theme of race. Narrators tell their stories, by expressing the literary device of voice in the form of a poem. Frank E. Perez stated that voice, which is dominant in Expressivism, brings up students’ ethics, and voice originates from ethics (344). Expressing the theme voice, Langston Hughes gives his audience insight into the speaker’s state of mind. Felt in the following lines:
I feel and see and hear, Harlem I hear you:
Hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?
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