Proud and Self-Confident Characters in Zora Neale Hurston’s essay How it Feels to Be Colored Me and I, Too” by Langston Hughes
617 WordsJan 28, 20183 Pages
Zora Neale Hurston’s essay “How it Feels to Be Colored Me” and “I, Too” by Langston Hughes, both have a theme of racism in common. Although these works of literature depict racial inequality, the main characters are portrayed as self-confident and proud individuals. They are not discouraged or disheartened by the attitudes of those who try to oppress them.
“How it feels to be colored me” portrays the attitude of the author after learning she was colored at the age of thirteen. The young Zora lives her entire childhood in a small, all colored, South Florida town where she proclaims herself, “… everybody’s Zora” (Hurston, 539), because she holds no prejudice in her innocent heart. When she enters school in Jacksonville at the age of thirteen she is shocked to realize that she is now “… a little colored girl” (Hurston, 539); she lost her identity somewhere along the way. Neal write the she found she was colored in her “… heart as well as in the mirror [she] became a fast brown …” (Hurston, 539) her world was never the same. However, Zora is not willing to surrender to the rules of society, she continues to live her life in a positive manner.
“I, Too” also portrays the racism of the times, but in a much different way, Hughes character is a young colored boy, a symbol of black America. His family depicts white America. The boy is sent to the kitchen when the family entertains, because he is “… the darker brother” (Hughes, L.2, 872), whom the family wants to keep