Essay about Poetry Analysis
In this poem by Langston Hughes it shows the hardship and pain that the african american people had to go through. He expresses his pain by showing that he is a unforgotten American because of his skin color. Langston Hughes develops the idea of a strong African American community in the presence of superior whites.
In this first stanza, Hughes says “I, too, sing America” as you can tell this line plays a big role in the black culture and touches the lives of many African Americans suffering from slavery. In the second stanza this is where he starts to identify himself. He writes, “I am the darker brother.” Hughes is trying to show us as readers that he is most likely African American, as he describes himself by the color of his skin. In the second line of this stanza, he uses the word “They” to separate himself from the country’s majority. The third and fourth lines show how the country treats them as Americans by saying.
“They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes.” These two lines show the conditions and segregation that Black people had to endure. Hughes also references the hypocrisy African Americans were forced to go through by calling himself a “brother.” He believed that many Whites have recognized the ban of slavery, but still don’t want to see themselves as equal to African Americans. When company comes over they force their “black brothers” to hide and eat by themselves. Hughes then shows the readers a glimpse of happiness by saying “But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong.” In spite of his treatment Hughes refuses to keep down and is able to grow physically and mentally.
In the second stanza Hughes says, “I’ll be at the table.” He shows his perseverance by noticing that its time, he’s gotten to the table first, before the meal has even started. The use of “I” helps to show that the African American community will soon rise. He is perceived as a intimidating figure just waiting for them to show up. He then goes on by saying “Nobody’ll dare Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,” Then.” The line refers to the time when there will be no discrimination, nobody will dare to ask the Blacks to eat in the kitchen. He uses the word “nobody” to infer that out of everybody in the town not one person would take a risk to demand him to eat in the kitchen. Hughes uses this stanza to show the growth that the black community will have within the next few years. He is inferring that they won’t go down without a fight.
The fourth stanza Hughes takes the thoughts expressed in the third stanza one step further by saying that not only will the African Americans be seen as equal, but also that the people who oppressed them will “be ashamed” for what they did. They will realize the beauty and grace of the African American race and understand what they did wrong. Just as he started the poem with one line, he also ends with one. Hughes says “I, too, am America.” While the first line could represent the injustice he felt towards America, this last line is even stronger. This metaphor to end the poem gives a powerful feeling that he is just as important as any other American, and will not be denied the basic rights.