Langston Hughes "Theme for English B" and Gerald Graff’s "Hidden Intellectualism"

882 WordsJul 13, 20184 Pages
Langston Hughes “Theme for English B” and Gerald Graff’s essay “Hidden Intellectualism” portray racial separation and intellectual isolation, respectively. Hughes’ essay is poetic justice, and Graff’s is a call to arms. Hughes’ is short and to the point and is simply what it is, no arguing or convincing, just raw thought. Graff’s is highly intellectual; offering examples and reasoning, and it could even be seen as a not-quite-finished plea to the nation to reevaluate our education system. But the many differences in these articles are not what they seem. These so-called “differences” are really just distractions we choose to see on the surface, but in fact, the essays work together quite well. When examined closely, looking past the…show more content…
Hughes feels like his race places a large part in his education at the prestigious school he attends, stating “I am the only colored student in my class / The steps from [my school] lead down into Harlem,” (799). This is an obviously intentional phrase. Hughes knows his race and where he’s from is important to the white members of his school, whether negative or positive. In turn, Graff speaks about this in the beginning of his essay and says “... my preference for sports over schoolwork was not anti-intellectualism so much as intellectualism by other means,” (299). Here, Graff is essentially saying that teaching in his school was biased against non-standard means of education, and therefore could not cater to the needs of the “working-class ‘hoods’” (299). In this respect, educational bias of race or intellectual preference is prominent on both of the author’s essays, even though the direct quotations may not reveal it outright. While Hughes and Graff have close core ideas, they do differ in certain elements. One of these important elements is temperament. The temperament of an essay or just a message in general is very important to the nature of message you’re creating. Graff’s essay temperament is displayed in a somewhat comedic, logical assessment of his childhood and school experience. Graff quotes bullies and quotes sports facts, giving his own attitude of the topic behind his message. This very much supports his message of a change in the

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