In the 1930’s, a plethora of lynchings were happening throughout the United States. Many black men and women were being falsely accused of crimes that they did not commit and were put in jail. Some whites believed that they deserved worse than what they were already being put through, so they invaded the jails and kidnapped many blacks and lynched them in front of large crowds of people. Abel Meeropol wrote the poem, Strange Fruit, as a protest to these lynchings. The poem describes the injustice of blacks and whites faced during the 1930’s. The poem talks about how the blacks were unfairly treated by being lynched and hanging from the trees.
The theme of Strange Fruit is prejudice. The text is explaining how the blacks were treated unfairly by the whites based on the color of their skin. Meeropol is beginning to tell how the blacks were being lynched from the trees. As Meerpol tells this event, he writes, “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”(Meerpol). This quote from the poem shows how the blacks were being taken from jail, and being hung in the trees of the white neighborhoods because of how they looked. The whites did not give them fair trials, or any at all, which they did to whites. The author is trying to tell the reader that the system of government was not fair in the 1930’s and that innocent people were being mistreated by the way they looked. He is trying to spread awareness for these tragedies that happened in the United States, and how wrong the events taking place were.
The author uses many forms of figurative language throughout the poem, but it is replete with metaphors. The entire poem is a metaphor explaining the prejudice and injustice that the blacks were being put through during the 1930’s. The author opens the poem with a metaphor and symbolism in the first line, He says. “Southern trees bear strange ...
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