By Feross Aboukhadijeh
Langston Hughes would be a character within the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of African-American literature and artistic forms in Manhattan throughout the 20's. Not just did his writing promote African-American culture, however it searched for to create focus on the plight from the African-People in america suffering injustice and repression. His poems "I, Too" and "Theme for British B" both advanced his political sights of equal civil privileges and treatment underneath the law for African-People in america. Both poems use first-person voices nevertheless the "I" differs for every poem, to be able to fulfill Hughes' purpose for that poem.
In Hughes' poem "I, Too, " the speaker isn't a person because the word "I" suggests. Actually, the "I" signifies the whole of African-People in america residing in the U . s . States. That Hughes creates " am the more dark brother" rather than "we would be the more dark siblings" isn't any accident (2). The connotation from the word "I" instead of "we" is a single individual, defenseless and outnumbered. The speaker states "They give me to consume in the kitchen area, " reinforcing the main one-versus-all attitude that Hughes is attempting to share within this poem (3). "We" and "they, " provide a more powerful, more u . s . connotation than "I" does. Within this poem, "I" can be used to connote weakness, and isolation. As utilized in this poem, the very first-person voice highlights the weakness from the African-United states citizens. However, this isn't the only method that Hughes uses "I" in the poetry.
However, Hughes' poem "Theme for British B, " uses the very first-person voice to have an entirely different effect. Within this poem, the "I" is definitely an individual student. The poem is presented just like a narrative: "I'm twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem" (7). Unlike the very first poem, "I" can be used here to connote strength and singularity. The speaker, an African-American student given an British writing assignment, engages his teacher within an intelligent, even pointed dialog. Hughes creatively take advantage of the first-person perspective to boost the result from the story. By utilizing words like "I" and "them", "me" and "you, " the speaker has the capacity to explain the variations between themself and the teacher. One passage particularly sticks out because of its incessant juxtaposition from the words "you" and "me":
yet part of me, like me part of you.
Sometimes possibly you won't want to take part in me.