Analysis Of Langston Hughes 's `` I, Too, Sing America `` And `` Dream Deferred ``

1473 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 6 Pages
Langston Hughes, through primarily metaphor and symbolism, addresses the oppression faced by African Americans during the Jim Crow era in America; specifically, Hughes emphasizes how African Americans resisted oppression and endeavored to become equals to their oppressors. Hughes also illustrates the pride African Americans have in their history and identity, which encourages the inspiration the African Americans relied on to ignite their civil rights movement.
Poems such as “I, Too, Sing America” and “Dream Deferred” show the oppression the African Americans faced; specifically, how they were fettered from achieving their goals and ambitions. In “I, Too,” the author discusses how “They,” or white men, “send me to eat in the kitchen / When company comes” (line 3-4). The kitchen represents something less favorable, something reserved for people whom the whites esteemed to be not as refined and cultured, hence the dismissal “when company comes.” The kitchen is also a symbol for the oppressive constraints impressed upon the African Americans, such as Jim Crow laws. The speaker then discusses how he has ambitions to become something more, shown in, “Tomorrow / I’ll be at the table / When company comes” (line 8-10). This symbol shows that while the author wants to become something big, he can not achieve his goals and endeavors because he does not have the opportunity nor the support to do so. Thus, the dining room is a symbol for racial equality; the author moves from the…

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