Analysis Of Langston Hughes And Countee Cullen English Literature Essay

In a clip of racial apartheid throughout the United States, two work forces were able to assist unite readers and authors of all races to come to understand the backbreaking times of African-Americans life within the United States and in peculiar, Harlem, New York. James Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen were two of Harlem ‘s most prolific and outstanding poets during the early twentieth century, a clip period known as the Harlem Renaissance. They were both endeavoring for one common end ; racial equality, while besides supplying people of that clip insight into the day-to-day life ‘s of African Americans shacking in Harlem, New York.

Countee Cullen was born in Louisville, Kentucky on May 30, 1903. Cullen ‘s grandma Elizabeth Lucas raised him up until she died in 1918. After Cullen ‘s grandma ‘s decease he was taken in and adopted by Reverend Frederick Asbury Cullen ( Shucard, Alan ) . Countee went to public schools in New York where he foremost started to develop his poesy accomplishments, and throughout high school he won many awards for his poesy ( Shucard, Alan ) . Cullen did n’t wish his adoptive parents fundamentalist positions on faith, these positions subsequently served as his ambivalency toward faith subsequently on in his life ( Shucard, Alan ) . Cullen finished high school at De Witt Clinton High School on January 26, 1922 and so enrolled in New York University ( Shucard, Alan ) . In 1923 Countee won 2nd topographic point award in the Witter Bynner Poetry Contest for “ The Ballad of the Brown Girl ” which introduced a racial subject that would shortly go prevailing to his poesy ( Shucard, Alan ) . In 1925 Cullen completed school at NYU and published “ Color ” , which was his first volume of verse forms ( Shucard, Alan ) . Countee received astonishing feedback about “ Color ” from poets who acknowledged it as being admirable and insuring ( Lumpkin, Shirley ) . Cullen so attended Harvard University until his graduated in 1926 with a Master ‘s grade ( Shucard, Alan ) . In 1932 Cullen published his first and merely novel, “ One Way to Heaven ” ( Shucard, Alan ) . Cullen wanted people to see him every bit merely obviously a poet non a African American poet, which shows Cullen ‘s privation to interrupt the racial barrier between inkinesss and Whites ( Lumpkin, Shirley ) . Cullen besides loved to dance and besides loved wind and other Caribbean dance music ( Lumpkin, Shirley ) . Cullen became married to Yolande Du Bois on April 9, 1928, the matrimony ended rather rapidly and suddenly, he subsequently married Ida Mae Roberson on September 27, 1940 ( Lumpkin, Shirley ) . Cullen reasonably much quit composing poesy during the 1940s to learn at Frederick Douglass Junior High School, which he did up until his passing from high blood force per unit area and azotemic toxic condition on January 9, 1946 ( Lumpkin Shirley ) .

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A major subject of Langston Hughes ‘s poesy was his adventuresome old ages before going a poet. Predating to him being even 12 old ages of age, Hughes had already resided in six different metropoliss in the United States and before he of all time published his original book he had earned a life as a chef, server, crewman, and doorkeeper, every bit good as holding lived or visited Mexico, France, West Africa, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Holland, and Italy, these escapades influenced his poesy abundantly ( “ ( James ) Langston Hughes ” ) . Hughes besides liked to integrate beat of wind and “ merely a simple but seductive gustatory sensation of the blues ” ( “ ( James ) Langston Hughes ) into his poesy. Another and perchance most obvious and of import subject of Hughes ‘s poesy was him fundamentally protesting the manner that African Americans of that clip period were being treated throughout the United States while supplying a peculiarly extended penetration into the racial battles of the people in Harlem an country that Hughes had grown accustom to. Hughes believed that finally his people would be including in the “ American Dream ” and these ideas were apparent throughout his poetic plants ( “ ( James ) Langston Hughes ” ) . Hughes liked to delve deep into the basicss of racial dogmatism and show merely how rapidly these basicss could take to mental and personal force ( Bevilacqua, Winifred ) . Langston embraced his African heritage during a clip when it was kind of tabu to make so. He had great involvement in the idiom and vocal of the mundane low-class people and urban African Americans ; he used this linguistic communication in much of his poesy. His love of black civilization and desire to see a racially equal universe seemed to be his chief manner in his verse form “ No 1 loved Negroes as Langston Hughes did ” ( “ Langston Hughes ( 1902-1967 ) ” .

Countee Cullen ‘s manner was really really different from Langston Hughes ‘s sing that Cullen wrote utilizing rime and Hughes wrote utilizing beat. Cullen ‘s usage of rime makes his verse forms flow good with his images and positions. However they both wrote during the Harlem Renaissance and they both shared really similar subjects and motives. Cullen ‘s poesy was about ever about race or faith, and on occasion both. Cullen besides sought for racial every bit like Hughes while besides taking utmost pride in his African heritage which he clearly shows in a verse form called “ Heritage ” , a verse form that was besides called “ the most beautiful verse form he knew ” ( Lumpkin, Shirley ) by Langston Hughes. A batch of Cullen ‘s poesy was influenced by his really spiritual upbringing ; he included many Christian motive in his poesy. Cullen believed that poetic subjects should take the manners of sonnet, metered pairs, or brief dry epitaphs since he wanted to command the emotion to show his construct of beauty in his poesy ( Lumpkin, Shirley ) . He was besides convinced that traditional poetry signifiers were much better than more modern paradigms. “ Cullen continued to be known for verse forms characterized by beauty and aristocracy, filled with his favourite image for the goodness and promise of life, spring. ” ( Lumpkin, Shirley ) Cullen besides gave insight into the lives of mundane black Americans life in Harlem in hopes that one twenty-four hours that there would be no more racial intolerance, which was something that both Cullen and Hughes had in common. They both wanted people to look at each other as Americans non African Americans nor European Americans, and be proud of their heritage but non know apart against other people ‘s heritage.

“ Night Funeral in Harlem ” was a poetic work written by Langston Hughes that shows his use of the blues in his plant. This verse form is chiefly set in the 2nd individual point of position, which can be seen by the lines “ Where did they acquire Them two mulct autos? ” and “ insurance lapsed the other twenty-four hours ” ( “ Night Funeral in Harlem ” ) , if the talker was one of the grievers so he would n’t hold to inquire where the autos arrived from, plus the talker knows the household good plenty to cognize that the insurance had fallen through but non good plenty to cognize how precisely the household and friends were paying for the excessive funeral. In the 3rd stanza the talker reveals that the dead male child is black, this could be a manner of Hughes showing to his audience his disgust of something that should n’t happen yet does happen so frequently in Harlem, which is the decease of a presumptively immature perchance adolescent black male child although he does n’t of all time state if the male child was killed nevertheless that can be inferred sing most adolescents do n’t decease of natural causes. This stanza besides kind of criticizes faith by stating that “ Old sermonizer adult male Preached that boy off — Charged Five Dollars His miss friend had to pay ” ( “ Night Funeral in Harlem ” ) which implicates the sermonizer as being a greedy cold hearted adult male. However in the 4th stanza the talker realizes that the funeral was of import and that was made it expansive was the male child ‘s household and friends coming together to pay for it.

“ Yet Do I Marvel ” is a poem written by Countee Cullen that is a first individual soliloquy utilizing iambic pentameter while besides utilizing spiritual contemplation that stems mostly from the engagement of Christianity in black American life and civilization. This verse form starts off stating that “ I doubt non God is good, unthreatening, sort ” , but so asks the inquiry of how a benevolent divinity could accept such horrid fortunes such as disablements and decease. He so wonders if there is an existent account to the mole ‘s natural sightlessness, the chagrin of Tantalus and Sisyphus, or the mortality of worlds. He so concludes that merely God could be the one to hold such an account. The concluding pair reveals that the poet is black and now becomes the most incredible action of God for the poet to apologize, how God created him as both black and a poet. This shows Cullen ‘s privation to be recognized and remembered as a poet non an African American poet that is what is cardinal to this verse form ( “ Shucard, Alan ) . Besides of import to recognize is that Cullen compares being black to the mole ‘s natural sightlessness and the anguish of Tantalus and Sisyphus, which one could construe as him stating that fundamentally it is tough to be black in America particularly during the clip period in which he lived.

To reason, Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen both had somewhat similar lifes, and lived slightly similar life styles. However they ‘re manners differed vastly, Langston Hughes wrote in beat while Countee Cullen wrote in rime. Nevertheless they both used highly similar subjects in their poesy, the chief one of class being the move toward racial equality and a much more peaceable society. Cullen besides tended to include certain facets of Christianity in his poesy, while Hughes by and large wrote verse forms about his ain personal experiences going to really alien topographic points and working many different occupations. All in all, Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen are and will ever be two of the most exceeding poets during the clip known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Primary Beginnings

Cullen, Countee. “ Yet Do I Marvel ” . 27 Mar 2011

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Hughes, Langston. “ Night Funeral in Harlem ” . 27 Mar 2011.

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Secondary Beginnings

“ ( James ) Langston Hughes ” . Contemporary Authors Online. 2003.

Literature Resources from Gale. Palm Beach County School District, West Palm Beach, FL. 22 Mar 2011.

Bevilacqua, Winifred. “ ( James ) Langston Hughes ” . American Short-Story Writers, 1910-1945

First Series. 1989. Literature Resources from Gale. Palm Beach County School District, West Palm Beach, FL. 22 Mar 2011

“ Countee Cullen ( 1903-1946 ) ” Georgetown University Web Hosting. 27 Mar 2011

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“ Langston Hughes ( 1902-1967 ) ” Georgetown University Web Hosting. 27 Mar 2011

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Lumpkin, Shirley. “ Countee Cullen ” . American Poets, 1880-1945: Second Series, 1986.

Literature Resources from Gale. Palm Beach County School District. West Palm Beach, FL. 22 Mar 2011.

Shucard, Alan. “ Countee Cullen ” . African-american Writers from the Harlem Renaissance to 1940.

1987, Literature Resources from Gale. Palm Beach County School District, West Palm Beach, FL. 22 Mar 2011


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