- Published: December 31, 2021
- Updated: December 31, 2021
- University / College: Aberystwyth University
- Level: Masters
- Language: English
- Downloads: 46
EGL 2140 Afric-Amer-Lit. 1920 This is an essay analyzing African American literature (AA literature). The concern is about Cullens and Hughess poetry approaches and compare and contrast of Hughess form (poetic structure) and content (theme and message) with McKays form and content.
Hughes commentary about Cullen’s “ wanting to be a poet–not a Negro poet” refers to lack of self confidence and desire to be as white. In his poem “ The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”, he states that he is ashamed of the black poet who claims, ‘ I want to be a poet, not a Negro poet,’ as if their own racial universe were not as appealing as any other setting (Hughes 1294). For Hughes, who jotted honestly regarding the setting into which he was brought up, it was impractical to neglect the topic of the race, which pervaded every characteristic of his existence, public reception, writing, and reputation. There is a message of a racial customs that is self styled high rank and coping of the white man. A lot is made of the Negro poet and the ethnic mountain that had to be surmounted. Cullen’s write in his “ From the Dark Tower” that “ White stars is no less lovely being dark… (1351),” this is a confirmation that there is a desire of equality and sorry feeling for the white.
In comparison, both McKays and Hughes’s poetic structure and style are based on African American literature. The messages are about race and class rant. Hughes expressed a direct and occasionally even pessimistic strategy to race relations, and he concentrated his poems primarily on working class. His poetry showcases the cultural narrative of the African American attained so frequently in AA literature (Hughes 1293). On the other side, there are two outstanding qualities in Claude McKay’s poetry. McKay employs iambic and rhyme pentameter in his effort, and this structure implements the poetic aspect (McKay 1007). However, the content is like prose; there are no actual intricacies of connotation, and the literary references he employs are direct and straightforward. The contrast between Hughes and McKay can be observed on their content orientation. While McKay writes not just as an African American, but as one who is totally and irrevocably aghast by how his race have been prejudiced in America, and how this has transformed to dilapidation beyond the nation; Hughes advocated for individuals to self-confidence and nation based writing, not race. McKay employs numerous literary devices and techniques in this poem to improve and emphasize his sense. He utilizes ” like hogs” in stanza one, which is an imagery (McKay 1007). Hughes uses straightforward and direct expressions to pass a message. Closed form of McKay make the readings harder and requires a lot of interpretation while open form of Hughes is makes reading easier.
Zora Neale Hurston demonstrates her conflict via a pleasurable technique of writing. Her broad writing style is not hard but the introduction of Black Southern Dialect together with other writing devices gives her syntax a clean, flowery viewpoint in “ Sweat”. Hurston employs multiple sentence constructions. Her approach broadens the new Negro movement scope and encourages other poets to adopt. The quote “ Ah’m so tired of you Ah don’t know whut to do. Gawd! how Ah hates skinny wimmen!” (Hurston 1023) indicates the Southern Dialect and complicate New Negro movement due to language level.
The text I would choose to teach is Hughes “ Mother to Son” due to its direct and straightforward structure.
Cullen, Countee “ From the Dark Tower” from My Soul’s High Song: The Collected Writings of Countee Cullen. Anchor Books, 1991
Hughes, Langston, and Glen Downey. Mother to Son: Harlem Night Song. Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada Ltd, 2009. Print.
Hurston, Zora Neale. “ Sweat.” The Oxford Book of American Short Stories. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. Oxford University Press, 1992.
McKay, Claude “ If We Must Die,” in Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922).
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