Claude McKay and Langston Hughes were both part of the Harlem Renaissance time period; were they experienced the harsh realities of racism. McKay and Hughes were major figures of that time, who would write novels, poetry, short stories, etc. McKay wrote a well-known poem known as, “America”; where he expresses, positively and negatively, his feelings toward America. On the other hand, Hughes wrote a poem titled “I, Too, Sing America”, which demonstrates the confidence and the assurance he has in himself. Both Claude McKay’s poem “America” and Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too, Sing America” convey the message of segregation and America’s future.
Love and hate are very different emotions which easily connect, which is the back bone of the poem “America”. McKay begins with a personification, “she feeds me bread of bitterness”; by needing “her” to feed him, he shows dependence to America. “Bread of bitterness” is a metaphor describing how black Americans were given limited rights; they were being restricted, which is where the bitterness grew from. “I love this cultured hell that tests my youth”, this stanza expresses his mixed emotions towards America. He loves this “cultured hell” because he learns from the bad, which teaches him to succeed. “Giving me strength erect against her hate” while the speaker is confidently declaring that America is the source of his strength, he is rebelling against her who is the provider of that strength and using it to stand up against the racial hate that was established during this time period in America. Though he looks into the future with a negative aspect, as if there freedom is going to disappear; “Like priceless treasure sinking in the sand”. “I, Too, Sing America” is a poem made to demonstrate the division between whites and blacks. This meek poem says so much more than is actually written. The poem starts off with an obvious act of isolation towards the black Americans; the owners are ashamed of him therefore, he is sent to...
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