Theme for English B by Langston Hughes

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The poem “Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes is one about race, place and writing. It is a poem about how different race groups all interact and connect whether or not people like it. These ideas are put together by focusing on the use of language, the importance of context and place, and the use of imagery and sound effects. By showing how he uses these aspects, I will explain how he puts forward the theme of his writing, race and the overall point of the poem. This will all be done in order to explain the main concerns of the poem which are race, place and writing. The context and place explain how though White and Black people have their differences (colour being the main one), they cannot escape each other in their lives and the way they live. Everyone is interconnected in all parts of life. To get from the place where he is only surrounded by White people which is his school up the hill from St. Nicholas, he has to pass “down into Harlem”, a place that is populated by Black people and beaming with Black culture. In his life, he has to interact with both races, whether or not he likes it. This idea is also reflected in stanza eight where the speaker says that even though they sometimes do not want to be a part of each other, they “are, that’s true.” Blacks and Whites are all connected in some part of their beliefs. They are all American and they are all a part of each other. He, Black and twenty-two and his instructor, White and older, learn from each other despite their differences. They influence each other in some way or another in their lives. In the poem, there is a theme of writing. This is conveyed in Hughes use of language. The speaker uses the assignment given to him in class to portray his struggles through literature. The poem is an idiom of a Harlem and Harlem is a place where some of the greatest authors and poets cultivated their literary skills. The constant use of assonance which remains throughout the poem portrays the common rhythm of...
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