The Bitter River Poem Analysis

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Hughes exposes the blatant racism that occurs in the south (“The Bitter River,” 15-19). The adoption of a more experimental method to spread awareness of the social injustice prominent in the south, Hughes’ poetics is broadcast. This poem serves to remind the higher economic class of African Americans that injustice is still forcefully inflicted upon the working class. Despite their attempts to better themselves, the self-hatred—The Bitter River—prevents them from doing so. “The Bitter River” differs from Hughes’ other poems because of the advanced and proper diction employed. Given the subject matter, Hughes was trying to draw in a wider audience. Another aspect of Hughes’ poetics is truth being brought
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The upbeat form and the rhythmic rhyme scheme is experimental as it sounds energetic, but in reality, denotes to the speaker’s pain. This juxtaposition is a metaphor for how African Americans are forced to go about their problems. Especially during this time period, African American art was only viewed for the sole purpose of entertainment. As Hughes puts it in his essay, “The negro artist works against an undertow of sharp criticism and misunderstanding from his own group and unintentionally bribes from the whites,” in other words, an African American artist doesn’t have the same creative freedom as other artists (Hughes, …show more content…
His poem, “Cross,” incorporates his other poetic ideals by exposing the truth with the concept of biracial children. As someone of mixed race, Hughes’ had to struggle with his identity growing up. This is expressed in the final line of “Cross” with, “I wonder where I’m gonna die, / Being neither white nor black?” (“Cross,” 11-12). Encompassing the blues form and bluntness, Hughes expresses the problem many biracial individuals face; they are neither and both. How Hughes’ illustrates the treatment of the speaker’s parents, it’s understandable that people tend to identify with their whiter side. This poem demonstrates the need for societal reform by utilizing blues poetry to express pain with a smile. In Hughes’ case, he is writing an upbeat poem that discusses a situation he faced as a child and as an adult. The discrepancy between his views of the modern African American and the general population’s is also reflected in “Cross.” Hughes could be channeling the lack of acceptance he received from his and society’s contrasting

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