Unit 5 :Exercises:Test yourself On Langston Hughes: “I,Too”
a)The artists of the Harlem Renaissance developed a sense of race pride and heritage in their search for newness of theme and form. They looked to a collective primitive past present still in linguistic or musical expressions. Hughes made of straightforwardness and simplicity an aesthetic tool and tried to emulate the voice and experience of the simple common African American (AA) folk as we can see in his poem. He was also constructing an imageof blackness that could change the Old Negro conception.
b)c) As the voice of the spokesman of an oppressed collectivity, or even as a single individual who fights for recognition, the tone of the poem reveals persistent optimism and conviction which manifests itself in the assurance that “Tomorrow” he will be also at the table being part of America too, revealing the social demand that the poem includes in the title, and in the first line: the word “too” . d)In Walt Whitman´s poem “ I hear America singing”, which scholars think that inspired Hughes´poem,all sorts of different Americans are portrayed: all of them singing. So Americans are a kind of chorus made up of different voices where everyone has an important part to sing, and he, as an AA, is part of that chorus,too. He has the same right as all others to sing the song of America.
e) The whole poem takes place in and around the home and the vast majority only happens in a single part of the home, the kitchen area and at the table, in the dining room. So the imagery is mainly domestic. These images of domesticity are also close to the idea of nourishment (“eating at the table”, “eat well”) and these stand as symbol of health and growing in the face of adversity. Even though today AAs are forced to “eat in the kitchen” they nurture...