Claude McKay 's political beliefs and how he experienced life in America are expressed throughout the poem. The country is extended into an animal metaphor, ‘sinking into my throat her tiger tooth’, presenting the viciousness of America. The Renaissance incorporated jazz and the blues, 1889 in Jamaica to peasant farmers, Claude McKay was educated by his brother, older in age, who possessed a library of novels, scientific texts, and poetry all written in English. The alliteration of ’t’ across ‘tiger’s tooth’ compounds his sense of distaste for America, with the harshness of the words focusing the reader to exhale due to the plosive nature of the sounds. The personification of America as a woman is typical, conceptual ideas like countries, the moon, or nature often being depicted as women. The poem explores the dual persona that African Americans experienced during the first half of the 1900s, and the conflict that arose because of it. Yet, as we progress through the poem, McKay gathers strength, eventually moving to use the ‘I’ pronoun, reversing the earlier notion and finding his feet within the world. What's your thoughts? America by Claude McKay is written in a sonnet form, measuring 14 lines with an ABABABABABABCC rhyme scheme. This further divides the pome into one octave (8 lines) and one sestet (seven lines), denoting the change in direction. Strength can be seen in the readings that we have encountered this semester. The continuous ‘she’ and ‘her’ within these early lines compound this sense of femininity, allowing for a contrast with the poet’s own ‘I’ coming later in the poem.
So, what does this poem mean when you discuss the life of an average 1920’s American? The final two lines of the poem bare possible allusions to Shelley’s Ozymandias. Although within the country, he can distance himself from its patriotism in order to critique it. Jack is undertaking a degree in World Literature and joined the Poem Analysis team in 2019. The seeds of racial tension in America have been consistently propagated throughout our nation’s contentious history. Black people had once again found, In “America”, Claude McKay expresses the struggles that African American people have faced at the hands of the country that they call their home, but also the strength they find in it as well. Claude McKay Claude McKay is one of the most influential people in the 20th century African-American literature. Claude McKay 's political beliefs and how he experienced life in America are expressed throughout the poem. I stand within her walls with not a shred One technique that McKay uses is oxymorons. The poem is at once a critique and a love letter to the United States of America. After the reconstruction, the Jim Crow laws were laws that enforced racial segregation and blacks second-class status. He was an American poet who was at the same time a social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. America simultaneously builds McKay up, and tears him down. Claude Mckay was an African American poet originally from Jamaica, and an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance, writing about his experience with racism and the bigoted society in America. The 1920’s, also known as the Roaring Twenties, were a time of great wealth and jubilee before the fall of the economy during the Great Depression at the end of the decade. The poet is, according to the sonnet structure, split into three quatrains and a final rhyming couplet. The daily moments which are horrible, the country being personified and feeding the poet ‘bread of bitterness’. Claude McKay was a major asset to the Harlem Renaissance with his contributions of such great pieces of writings such as “If We Must Die” and “The Lynching.” McKay wrote in many different styles. Following the two quatrains which detail characteristics of America, McKay now moves to his personal perspective. A similar idea is suggested here, with McKay insinuating that perhaps America’s reign will not last forever, eventually collapsing in a similar fashion to Ozymandias. The recent invention of the automobile and subsequent lack of paved roads are a good example of an excitement and struggle, these struggles and excitements could help us determine the meaning of McKay’s interpretation of America. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. Hughes’ began to write poems when he was still in his eighth grade. The use of ‘cultured hell’, as I have mentioned above in the Poetic Techniques section, is an oxymoron. While on one hand, McKay is arguing that it is a horrible place, dangerous and bitter, he is simultaneously highlighting the strange vigor one gets from living there. McKay 's name is inextricably linked with this poetic movement; his work was included in Alain Locke 's seminal anthology The New Negro: An Interpretation (1925), cementing not only his success as a contemporary poet but also his significance as a black poet in America. McKay's poem is a 14 line "Shakespearean" sonnet about America—though we only know that from the title, as McKay never references America in the poem itself. On Langston Hughes and his poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” For the Harlem Renaissance, which was an extraordinary eruption of creativity among Black Americans in all fields of art, Claude McKay was the leader. These lines in the poem focus on a more positive side of America, highlighting ‘her’ ‘vigor’ that gives ‘strength’ to her citizens. (…) Having trained as army personnel in Kansas for the Kingston Police department, Claude McKay had the exposure and opportunity to, Second, there was an event that occurred from the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age, which was called the Harlem Renaissance. You search returned over 19007 essays for "America by Claude McKay" Claude McKay. Claude McKay lived during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s, which was decades after the civil war and after slavery was abolished in America. In “America” Claude McKay expresses the struggles that African American people have faced at the hands of the country that they call their home.
At the beginning of the poem, McKay uses passive sentences that place ‘she’ as the active force, representing how the world is beating the poet down.
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