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Kwabena Mona Meares

Ms. Jacobs

Comp 2

December 10, 2017

Poetry Analysis

The poem I chose to do is I, Too by Langston Hughes, focusing on the elements of

setting and theme. Langston Hughes is a poet from the Harlem Renaissance in New York during

the 1920s and 30s. The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural uprising, giving boost toe popular

jazz music and different sorts of African American art especially literature and poetry. Hughes

has many mory famous works and such as Of Such I Dream and Life for Me Aint Been No

Crystal Stair.

The poem I, Too is indeed a poem of patriotism but is shown in very abnormal ways.

Patriotism is the love of your country and being proud of being a citizen of said country but in

the past black people were not treated as if they were not citizens. This poem was published

before the civil rights movement in the United States where racism and prejudice was very

prevalent much more than it is now a days. In this poem Hughes imagines a day where whites

and blacks will be able to eat at the table together and black will be treats as equal. Hughes

knew that by him being a man of color he would not be treated as a normal citizen. This poems

takes things back to the days of slavery and implies that not much has changed.

In the poem I, Too the setting is clear put in some ways. Though it isnt stated exactly

when this poem takes place, it could have occurred either during the days of slave holding or on
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after. It is hard to try and figure out exactly when the poem takes place because racial hardships

were endured for long after slavery had ended. It also hard to try and figure out where the poem


Reading this poem, it is easy to see that the speaker is in a large home owned by a white

family. This home was large enough to house slaves and or black servants. Also, the speaker

spoke like he was in a kitchen at one point. The narrator describes himself eating in a kitchen but

not a traditional kitchen,more of a dining room wheres families and guests eat. The, the narrator

envisions eating in the future right alongside the white homeowner and his company. There is no

precise overall setting mentioned in the poem but, using the context of the poem you can get a

general idea.

I feel that the themes for this poem is Race, Drive and Freedom. I feel that race is the

most important part of the theme because of the setting. Being that some of this poem takes place

in a white home with African American slaves, it begins focusing on the history of racial and

ethnic oppression but fantasizes and dream of a brighter future. In the fantasies of the the

narrator, white people will recognize black people as their equal and be ashamed of the previous

prejudice and hatred and the people of color. Drive is apart of the theme because the speaker has

to survive and have a sense of self and also racial equality. He portrays persistent optimism and

shows that in his assurance that one day he will be able to eat at the table too. Freedom is the

biggest goal of this poem. The speaker refuse to give in under the feelings of oppression and acts

of slavery so that he come move forward and closer to his goal of eventually having much

deserved freedom and racial equality. That one day America will be the free country it claims to

be. In the poem, the speaker truly believes that his race is equal to that of white American and,
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even though his is treated much differently he knows the value of his life and does not allow

himself to be close minded during troubling times.

This poem shows the envisionment of a speaker who sees that he should be treated

equally to another race. Being set in the time period of either slavery or just the oppression of

African Americans, it is difficult to see the silver lining in the clouds. The themes of this poem

are still very prevalent to todays life. As the speaker envisions a future in which he is no longer

sent to the kitchen and he will not be treated as unequal,the words of this poem will have become

true statements. The poem ends as the speaker saying that he is too an American citizen.