Tropics in New York

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  • Topic: Fruit, Tropics
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  • Published : January 4, 2013
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The Analysis of “The Tropics in New York” by Claude McKay In a three-stanza poem “The Tropics in New York”, by Claude McKay presents the feeling of sadness and homesickness of a man who has been living in New York. In the first stanza, the author invites us to imagine the tropic in New York. After that, in the second stanza he brings us to the man’s old memory. Some techniques the author uses persuade readers to be aware of the man’s nostalgia in the third stanza. The abundant images of fruits that the man sees in New York in the first stanza reminds of the man’s homeland. The author describes the visual image of exotic products in the New York market, “Bananas ripe and green, and ginger root” (line1), which evoke sweet smells and tastes of the bananas, (Olfactory and gustatory). “Cocoa in pods” (line2) implies that it is not only fresh from nature, but also indicates that the market is full of various tropical fruits. Moreover, the author uses the word “alligator pears” (line2) instead of “Avocado” to make us think of rough skin of a crocodile (Tactile). So, we can assume that the man used to live closely with nature so that he can remember the fruit skin. In addition, the author uses the word “grape fruit” (line3) instead of “grapefruit” to present the man is not American people, but a foreigner because he uses the word wrong. At the last line of this stanza, the man thinks “fit for the highest prize at parish fair”, identifies that these fruits are valuable and expensive. All of these remind of his home country.

The second stanza shows pleasant imagery of the man’s homeland where is thus both like and different from New York. His home country is full of vivid fruits as well, but he can pick up them on branches without buying from the market. “fruit trees laden by low-singing rills”, (Auditory, line2), the word “low-singing rills” invites us to imagine sweet-sounding of the canal and peaceful surrounding. The word “Dewy dawns” (line3) evokes the visual...
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