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Analysis of Countee Cullen's Poem, Tableau (For Donald Duff)

By sBara72ube Apr 04, 2014 615 Words

Essay
Tableau (For Donald Duff) by Countee Cullen
In the poem Tableau(For Donald Duff) by Countee Cullen, two boys, one black one white, were doing something that people during this time never wanted to see, they were locking arms and walking down the street with smiles on their faces. The message in this poem conveys that the boys maintained their friendship, despite the criticisms of their interracial relationship. “Tableau” is a three-stanza poem that utilizes rhyme, imagery and metaphor. It shows the purpose of the poem with ease and keeps the poem simple.

In the poem the author uses rhyme schemes to show the purpose of the essay with ease. The rhyme scheme here is kept simple in order to keep the reader interested. It goes A, B, A, B throughout the whole poem, which is only three stanzas. The rhyming in the poem also makes the poem very clear to the point that you can see what is going on throughout the poem. He rhymes everything in the poem, even the metaphors. He uses this to show the purpose of the poem and the purpose it that blacks and white can be together, they can be friends, and nobody should judge them for it.

Countee also uses imagery in the poem to get his poem’s purpose across. He uses imagery throughout the first stanza and the last stanza. He says in the first stanza, “The golden splendor of the day the sable pride of the night”. He describes the black boy with the “pride of night” and the white boy with “golden splendor of the day”. He shows both of these boys have their own way of life and that they both live different lives, but still they are friends and they don’t care what other think about them. Another form of imagery he uses in the third stanza is when he says “That lightning brilliant as the sword”, which could mean that lightning came from the heavens and cut the crowd apart as they walked by them, their friendship was the lightning cutting a route for them to take rather than following those whose lived life through discrimination.

The last thing he uses to show the purpose of the poem is metaphors. The metaphor he uses in the first stanza is “The black boy and the white, the golden splendor of the day, the sable pride of the night”. He uses this metaphor to show what the two characters are, a white boy and a black boy. He also expresses who they are by saying what he said in the metaphor. Also in the third stanza the metaphor “The lightning brilliant as a sword, should blaze the path of thunder”. By this metaphor he means that the two boys don’t care what other think of them and that their pride would cut through the crowd, also seen as thunder, by their friendship. The purpose of this was to show that different races can be friends, that no one should be put down because of the color of their skin.

Countee Cullen’s poem Tableau (For Donald Duff) had a purpose and that purpose was to show that different races can be friends and that no one should be discriminated because of the color of their skin. He shows the purpose of his poem with metaphors, imagery, and rhyming. He goes through the whole poem showing what his purpose with each of these. He knew that if he did this then people would see his purpose and probably change their mind about discrimination. In the end he kept the poem easy and simple to understand even with these literary elements.

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