Theme for English B

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Dwayne ThomasThomas 1
11/19/2012
Composition II
Figures of Speech Essay
The Literary Working of Theme for English B
Langston Hughes’ instillation of metaphors throughout his poem accentuates the theme concerning the integration of schools which conveys America’s ode to freedom and equality. In addition to the metaphors, irony is also displayed within the carefully crafted work of art, stressing the ridiculousness of society’s digressing of unity and togetherness. These literary devices are shown by the speaker’s inquiry of the paper he is assigned by his white professor whom states, “let that page come out of you— then it will be true.”

“I guess I’m what I feel and see and hear. Harlem, I hear you”, says the speaker as he is expressing the beginning of his paper. The fact that he only hears Harlem implies that he has lost touch with the feeling and visual context of the African American culture due to the integration of schools. This does not necessarily expose a bad conception, for he still hears Harlem. Therefore, the idea is that the mixing of races within schools creates a melting pot that disregards feeling different and having opposite perspectives, but maintains the knowledge of where you come from. This is Hughes’ description of the American persona.

The speaker extends this metaphor of the American persona even more by stating his enjoyment towards different styles of music, “I like… records – Bessie, bop, or Bach.” This ranging style of musicality proves that though he is black he is no different than other people of Thomas 2

diverse ethnicity, providing another reasonable argument cooperating with the integration of public schools. Following the quote, the speaker explains, “I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like the same things other folks like who are other races.” The double negative presented in this quote symbolizes the double standard the society of America used during that time period. Though many people...
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