The line by line analysis of a poem,Sing America

The line by line analysis of a poem,Sing America

The line-by-line analysis of a poem is very important to get a clear idea about every line of the poem. This helps a lot of the students who are relatively new to literature. In this article, we are going to make a line-by-line analysis of Langston Hughes's famous poem I too sing America. So let's see the line-by-line analysis or explanation of this poem.

Line by Line Analysis of I, Too, Sing America

I am the darker brother. 

These are 4 sentences that occur in the poem “I, Too, Sing America '' written by Langston Hughes, one of the most famous black . American poets of the 20" century. The poet himself is a black American. In the time when he wrote the poem, it was difficult for black Americans to live in America; they were regarded as inferior citizens of America, and the white Americans tortured them in many ways.

Langston Hughes, a member of the black people, protested against this state of things. This protest is, of course, very subtle and indirect. The poet has recourse to the imitation of one poem by a senior poet, Walt Whitman, who wrote “I Hear America Singing ''. The poet calls himself a darker brother—a brother of all Americans. The motive behind this claim is to draw the attention of the readers, and for that matter, the attention of all people, to the fact that he is of equal status with the white people of America. 

The need for a claim comes only when something is lacking, and every entity has its opposite entity. So, the poet claims his brotherhood with all other Americans. because the state of brotherhood between the black and the white is, as a matter of fact, not the reality. The poet thus states his claim of equality, with other citizens of America, because equality does not exist in reality. 

But I laugh, And eat well, 

And grow strong

This is an excerpt from the poem “I, Too, Sing America '' written by Langston Hughes, a famous American poet of the 20" century. This is a symbolical expression of how the poet or the speaker grows up physically and spiritually or mentally and intellectually, even in the condition of his slavery under a white master. 

The poet or the speaker in the poem does not mean the poet or the speaker individually. The “I” is a symbol of the whole race of the negroes of all times and places in human history. The lines literally mean that as a slave to a white American master he was used to being sent. to the kitchen for having his meal on the occasions when his master’s white guests would visit them. 

It was thought unprestigious for the master to have the negro slave present in the company of the white people. So, he was sent to the kitchen to have his meal there. But the poet used to enjoy the situation, ate to his heart’s fill, and gradually grew strong. But metaphorically it means that the negro race, in their subhuman condition in slavery under the white people, took advantage of the situation, or made the best use of the condition, so that they grew both physically and intellectually stronger over a period of time. 

Tomorrow, I'll sit at the table 

When the company comes. 

This is an extract from Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too, Sing America”. The poet’s hope as a negro slave in the house of a white master has been expressed in the poem. The poet or the speaker of the poem is a negro slave, and in the poem, the speaker is speaking on two levels: on one level he expresses his individual hope to sit at the table for a meal along with the white guests of his white master, in future, though at the moment he is sent to the kitchen for eating his meal. 

On another level, he stands as a representative of the negro slaves of all times and places in human history. And though they are working as slaves to the white masters, in the future they will be able to claim equal status with all the other races of human beings on the earth. The negro slaves are regarded as subhuman beings and are not even allowed to sit at the table with white guests. 

They are making the best use of the Situation: they are growing stronger and stronger, both physically and intellectually or mentally, and someday will come when they Will be regarded as equal to the white people, so much so that nobody will dare question their equal status or treat them as Subhuman beings.

Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am 

And be ashamed, too, am American. 

These lines have been taken from the poem, “I, Too, Sing America”, written by Langston Hughes, a great American poet of the 20" century. The speaker or the poet states his hope that in the future, he will be also beautiful like the other citizens of America, like the white people. 

The speaker speaks as “I”, in the first person. But “I” here, in the context of the poem, does not mean the speaker as an individual; it represents the whole race of negroes of all times and all places of the world, especially Africa and America. The speaker speaks in the poem as a slave to some white master. He is refused equality with the white people. 

For example, when some white guest visits his white master, he is not allowed to sit at the table with the guests, nor to eat with them. But he is sent to the kitchen to have his meal. He is thus treated as a subhuman being because he is a negro. But someday will come when he will grow equally beautiful with the white people, and then they will be ashamed to have treated him in the way they did. 

They will recognize him as equally beautiful to others. Symbolically, it means that the speaker hopes that in the future the black. people will also be regarded as beautiful by others, and the white people will recognize them as of equal status as citizens of America. 


I hope the line by line analysis of this poem helps you a lot. But if you want to know more about I too sing America then you may read the critical appreciation of this poem. Critical appreciation also gives a lot of information. Follow the following link to reach the critical appreciation of I to sing America.

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