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The Interpretation of The Poem “I, Too”

2019-06-19 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- The Interpretation of The Poem I, Too,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了兰斯顿·休斯的诗歌《I, Too》。兰斯顿·休斯是20世纪美国最杰出的黑人作家和诗人之一,他将蓝调、爵士等非裔美国流行音乐引入诗歌创作,创造出独特的“黑人诗歌”。因此,他在诗歌和叙事上的创新影响了许多黑人作家。兰斯顿·休斯1925年创作的《I, Too》》被收录在1926年出版的《蓝调诗集》中。这首由18行诗组成的诗简短而直接,既感叹了非裔美国人的现状,也感叹了黑人实现了美国梦,即自由和平等。不同于以往的其他作家,休斯使用传统的方法,如音乐节奏,语言等重复赋予诗歌一种音乐才能。

I, Too,兰斯顿休斯,essay代写,作业代写,代写

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was one of the most outstanding black writers and poets in the United States in the 20th century. There was an important event named Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. At that time, Hughes lived in New York and became the most important representative of the Harlem Renaissance. He was known as the Harlem Poet Laureate.

As an African American writer, under the oppression of apartheid and discriminatory laws, Hughes faithfully uses different literary forms such as poetry, novel, drama, and prose to fight for justice and ask for African Americans’ equal rights. As a “black spokesman”, Hughes’ most outstanding achievement has been embodied in poetry which introduces blues and jazz and other African American pop music to create a unique “black poetry”. Therefore, his innovations in poetry and narrative have influenced many black writers. Hughes claims that “ninety percent of his work is trying to explain the situation of African Americans.”(Leach, 2004 ) He hopes to use poetry to express the true existence of black people and realize the ideal of freedom and equality.

The poem “I, Too” written in 1925 has been collected in the book of poetry The Weary Blues (1926).This poem consisting of eighteen lines is short and straightforward, sighing both the current situation of African Americans and the realization of the American dream which for the black people, that is, freedom and equality. Different from other previous writers, Hughes uses traditional methods such as musical rhythm, verbal and improvisation and repetition to give the poem a kind of music aptitude which will be analyzed with concrete examples in the following text.

From the perspective of the theme, it emphasizes the possibility of achieving a better life, and encourages African Americans to work hard to discover the beauty of life and look for a happy life. Hughes is one of the few poets who can use simple and plain language to express these basic ideas. For example, the poem “I, Too” is easy to read and understand. Looking through the whole text, there is no difficult words. Moreover, the structure is plain and simple. It can be concluded that the poet tries to make his readers understand what he is saying, no matter old and young, illiterate or literate. Although black people are deeply discriminated by white American society and have to endure all kinds of unequal treatment, this poem will give them some courage to cope with the bleakness of life and turn the gloomy living condition into a promising future. Although it is only a good wish, at least it bestows hope to the black people.

Although the Civil War has ended slavery by the victory of abolitionism, the black people who have obtained “freedom” have not undergone any substantive changes. That is to say, they do not have the equal rights to their white counterparts, let alone the pursuit of happiness. The truth they have to face includes apartheid and economic oppression, institutional discrimination and persecution. The phrase “eat in the kitchen”(Hughes, lines 3 and 13) is the powerful evidence. The black people are regarded as inferior to their white counterparts. Perhaps they serve the white people in the house and only have the right to eat in the kitchen, especially when other white people come to the house. But the black people should have the same rights as the white people, just as in describing the new world of the United States, Thomas Paine, a thinker of the American Revolution, has believed that the new world is a paradise without dictatorship and oppression, and a refuge for freedom. However, this new world has begun slavery as soon as the Europeans set foot on the land. Just 150 years after Columbus set foot on the American continent, the Spaniards brought African slaves to the new world. Although American Declaration of Independence has claimed that “life is equal, freedom is an inalienable right of mankind.” However, by 1808 when the slave trade was affirmed to be illegal, nine million African slaves had been traded by all kinds of means. This contradiction of American society, that is,on the one hand, the bloody and brutal slave trade, on the other hand, the bright and beautiful ideal of freedom and democracy has co-existed for quite a long time. Fortunately, with the end of the Civil War, slavery was abolished, but the racial influence still exists until nowadays. Millions of black people have to live in a world full of racism. Therefore, it is not difficult to discover that the phrases “Nobody’ll dare/Say to me,” (Hughes, lines11 and 12) expresses the desire of black people to live a better life, and the hope that if they work hard, they will enjoy the fruits of labor.

The ethnic identity of African Americans shows a new sense of pride(Rampersad,1988). It can be seen from a slight change in the use of words between the line “I, too, sing America.” (Hughes, line1) and the line “I, too, am America.” (Hughes, line18) The “I” in the poem is the voice that speaks to the reader. The verb “sing” in the first line has gradually strengthened through the whole poem, and in the last line, it has became a more powerful word of static verb “am” which shows some kind of identity. These two lines echo from start to finish, forming a complete circle in the terms of structure and in the meantime express the awakening of the democratic consciousness of the black people. As “the darker brother”(Hughes, line 2), since the descendants of the slaves will never be accepted by their white “brothers”, their dark skin can no longer be a mark of shame, but should be seen as a symbol of beauty and pride(Rampersad,1988). For the black people, what they look for is a kind of ethnic identity, historical identity and cultural identity that belongs to the black people themselves. The poet constantly spares no effort in exploring the identity and existence of the black people. It is illegal to discriminate against African Americans because of their different skin colors. Prejudice, discrimination and cruel treatment make the black people live in the harsh and indifferent environment. It should be judged not by their skin color because the black people feel the duality, that is, on the one hand, they are black and on the other hand, they are American. Therefore, they should be accepted and treated equally by his white counterparts.

On the basis of perusal, the specific details and overall design of poem should be considered because they are the features of the poem and are useful to express the aim of the poet. From the perspective of the layout, the rhythm of the split such as the application of commas, the repeated phrases such as “eat in the kitchen”(Hughes, lines 3 and 13) and “When company comes”(Hughes, lines 4 and 10), and the improvisational sense of language make the readers feel that these verses are not written with a pen tip, but are more like playing with a saxophone. Through the fusion of language and music, the black poet finally found his own unique expression to depict the living experience of the black people.

The theme of poem is the core idea and the commanding point of view, often expressing an abstract concept through some specific adjective descriptions. However, the readers’ recognition of the theme often shows their own interpretation. Superficially, the modifiers “strong”(Hughes, line7) and “beautiful”(Hughes, line16) do not conform to the living experience of African Americans. But in fact, Hughes romanticizes them, because these lower-class black people are never ordinary, they are sharp, passionate and full of wisdom and humor. More importantly, these black people are full of endless energy. They can “sing”(Hughes, line1) and “laugh”(Hughes, line 5) which means that they can hide their own pains and release the hardships they have experienced.

In a word, with the aim to express the true existence of black people who are eager to realize the ideal of freedom and equality, Langston Hughes use poem as a kind of tool and make a huge success. Deeply discriminated by white people, the black people endure all kinds of unequal treatment. They have no place to express their dissatisfaction. No one cares about their painful embarrassment. By simulating blues, Hughes’ poem attempts to capture this dual artistic conception or this contradictory emotional feature, that is, to express the psychologically hopeless feelings of the oppressed people, and at the same time to tolerate this suffering and even conquer the bitterness of life. Only maintaining a “happy” mood, the black people have a chance to survive and see the sun of tomorrow.

Works Cited

Hughes, Langston. “I, Too” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes.

Leach, Laurie F. Langston Hughes: A Biography, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004, pp.       2–4. ISBN 9780313324970

Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes, Volume 1: I, Too, Sing America, Oxford University Press,1986. ISBN 0-19-514642-5

Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes, Volume 2: I Dream A World. Oxford University Press,1988. ISBN 0-19-514643-3

West, Sandra L. “Langston Hughes”. In Aberjhani & Sandra West (eds), Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, Checkmark Press,2003. p. 162.ISBN 0-8160-4540-2


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