I Don 't Speak Like A Black Person, And Philip Levine Essay

1393 Words Aug 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
Essay Number One
Through the many hardships one might go through in life, living as a minority can be considered one of the hardest. Not being able to afford a better living, being pigeonholed simply based off of the color of one’s skin, or having to work tirelessly without relief are only a few examples of what an average minority might experience. Langston Hughes’ Mother to Son, Allison Joseph’s On Being Told I Don’t Speak Like a Black Person, and Philip Levine’s What Work Is all illustrate how coming from a multi-cultural background can prove to be difficult while living in America. By breaking down each poem and their meanings, the reader can learn and grow a deeper understanding of what it is like living in such conditions. These three poems open the doors to various adversities through the use of literary terms and theories. By Utilizing the Reader Response theory, Hughes’ Mother to Son primarily focuses on symbolizing the author’s view on racism in America and addressing the everyday lives of black people from the 1920s to around the 1960s (Biography.com Editors). In the poem, a mother gives life advice to her son from her perspective and experiences. The tone of this poem is moralistic, encouraging, and optimistic. She wants her son to keep striving for a better life and to not give up when conflicts arise. In the second line, the speaker modestly explains to her son, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair”. By utilizing symbolism, the speaker metaphorically…

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