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"I, Too, Sing America" Essay

1001 words - 5 pages

“I, Too, Sing America” is a poem written by Langston Hughes. This short poem is an 18 line five stanza free verse. Each line can have its own meaning but when the piece becomes one, the literal meaning is about …oppression. Oppression was at one time a huge thing in the United States, but if one is to say it has been eradicated, one is uninformed. The author of this poem, Langston Hughes, wrote poetry in the era of oppression and so wrote a poem about it. He not only wrote about oppression itself, but about the hope he has for its destruction. This poem symbolically states people shouldn’t be judged solely based on their appearance, but on their actions and the reasoning behind those actions ...view middle of the document...

He thinks one day his dream will be fulfilled and oppression will be abolished. The others will realize he is no different from them, they won’t dare tell him to eat in the kitchen.
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed---“(15-17)

They will realize how wrong they were to have concealed him away. They will see how beautiful he actually is, and be ashamed of their actions. Appearance is no motive to oppress someone, only ones actions and the reasoning behind those actions should be arbitrated if anything. In his final line, “I, Too, Sing America” (18) finally means something as a whole, and you comprehend what the poem is about. It’s about oppression and his ambition to overcome it, because he recognizes one day it will be no more.
Throughout this poem Langston Hughes uses symbolism to portray that oppression will one day be abolished. He states in the line “I, Too, Sing America” (1, 18), just because his appearance is different from others, doesn’t mean his actions and beliefs are. He uses a tone in the poem that cries out ambition. Ambition is a powerful tool when it comes to poetry. It allows the reader to understand the writer’s position and feeling towards a subject. That is precisely how this author uses it. He is strongly optimistic and states that oppression will end, and he will be there to see it. But that is an immense dream, because even in the world today, oppression is a factor in everything we do. Oppression is the biggest source of symbolism, when the ‘slave’ is sent to the kitchen when company arrives, or when he imagines a world without it. Freedom is a big goal in this poem. The man in the poem refuses to give in to oppression and waits for America to fulfill the...

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