Biographical Criticism

Topics: Langston Hughes, African American, Harlem Renaissance Pages: 3 (974 words) Published: November 2, 2010
Biographical Criticism

Upon reading the opening of Langston Hughes poem, I recognized that there was a lot going on. It can be first noticed that this is an assignment given to him by his English instructor at his college. There is evidence that Langston started his homework immediately. This fact suggests that the assignment not only motivated him to write, but it caused him to think. The result is a path of reflection and opinions, which leads to an eye-opener of truth that everyone is the same. Hughes begins talking about his life in this poem in very close detail. With his descriptions of the setting around him and talking about the things going on in his head, he instantly takes the reader into his own world. The introduction was unique because he pulled his life onto the page and illustrated to us how he is living. He did not go for organization or particular elements besides pure expression of his thoughts and environment. The speaker is intelligent, talented, and courageous because his voice is filled with confidence that can be found throughout the entire poem. This poem also touches on the ever present topics of equality, commonality and differences which is ever so present in his life at the time. Like all well-written poems, there is a well-built autobiographical ingredient in this poem, but "Theme for English B" is not an obvious imitation of the poet's actual past. “Hughes did not grow up in North Carolina, as his poetic persona did, but in the Midwest. Nevertheless, Hughes did attend Columbia University in the early 1920s, and Columbia appears in the poem as the college on the hill above Harlem” (Johnson). The condition he illustrates comes generally from his personal experience, combined and modified to create this exact incident. Hughes is troubled with the association between race and literature at the heart of the poem. He is both superficial and solemn when he asks, "So will my page be colored that I write? / being...
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