Tone is a Literary Element that Shows Attitude or Vibes of a Writer Toward a Subject
Tone is a literary element that shows attitude or vibes of a writer toward a subject. “I,Too” by Langston Hughes is a poem that focuses on African American identity, shows the rejection of rights and equality that every American should have and that it shouldn’t matter about color or race. The mention of America is important here, for Hughes he is expressing his conviction that African Americans are a significant part of America and he anticipates to see changes of a racially equal society. The tone in this poem shows pride and is optimistic.
On the surface, the poem sounds positive as Hughes says that he is proud of being an American. “I am the darker brother”(Stanza 2). The word “darker” is specific in this case where it makes the reader pick up on what he is putting down to understand in a much deeper context, yet Hughes believes that he is a “brother” of the white America. The second and third lines portray the culture of the colored folks. “They send me to eat in the kitchen, When company comes”(Stanza 2). Whenever a visitor comes to visit they try to hide the colored servants because they were couldn’t be seen and were not welcomed to be in the same room as the white people. The last three lines of the second stanza are so powerful that it shows that the speaker feels content when they send him off to go eat in the kitchen because he feels that he can make a fight through this, and that someday he will be appreciated and feel included by all the white people.
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Furthermore, the speaker draws a prediction of the future. He imagines that someday colored people will share the table with all the white people. “When company comes. Nobody’ll dare. Say to me, Eat in the kitchen”(Stanza 3). At that time, not even the white folks will dare to send the African Americans off to the kitchen while they are eating, it represents the hope for the elimination of racism. Through the poem, the speaker expresses his feelings for freedom. “I, too, sing America” (Stanza 1). In the fact that, colored people wanted to be free from all the racism they have been faced with all this time. They want to proudly live freely just as the whites do. The speaker knows and believes that he will hopefully gain all his freedoms slowly. As a matter of fact, the speaker does not want to take revenge on the white people but wants to negotiate and work together to end this racism that all the colored people are facing at this time period.
Through the use of tone, Langston Hughes expressed his feelings toward racism in an optimistic way. “I, Too” is a discrimination poem that shows the injustice of racism. He is showing that this is not just a personal experience but also a voice of his people of the same race. He is treated in a way that he is an embarrassment to the white people and feeling inferior to them. Overall, the poem shows that Hughes has an ability to persevere, despite all the unequal conditions of America, he did not act violently or take revenge and got his freedom by working up to it.