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Analysis and comments on Theme For English B by Langston Hughes

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Comment 37 of 187, added on November 16th, 2009 at 11:39 AM.
A different point of view.

This is a wonderful poem, as Langston Hughes is a wonderful poet. I have
read many of the reviews and see that many people feel as though the
speaker in this poem is being segregated against in his life. I do not see
that to be the case. I believe the speaker in this poem (btw, the speaker
is not Hughes, as Hughes was a middle aged man when he wrote this poem) is
segregating himself from a white society. I just wrote a 5 page paper
arguing this idea. Many things the speaker says in the poem show that the
instructor and other students are not the ones making a big deal about the
fact that he is colored, but it is him who consistently is stating that he
is colored and does not wish to be a part of the white society.

Sarah from United States
Comment 36 of 187, added on May 12th, 2009 at 5:14 PM.

i love this poem. it is my favorite poem. i'm writing a paper on it rite
now for my english class. i like it it is delicious

bob from United States
Comment 35 of 187, added on September 12th, 2007 at 3:49 PM.

powerful poem

Shannon from United States
Comment 34 of 187, added on May 3rd, 2007 at 12:01 PM.

I am a Moroccan student and i happened to study this poem in my modern
poetry class . Langston hughes ' s poem reasons the issue of racial
segregation. There are more reasons than feelings and also a lot of
implicit arguments. This poem is factual and there is an argument that
builds up little by little that there is no ground for racial
discrimination."part of u, instructor" here the speaker means that they
share the same culture and that they are equal. In this poem, there is a
symbiotic relationship, as the pupil relies on his instructor and vice

Fatima from Morocco
Comment 33 of 187, added on April 28th, 2007 at 12:24 AM.

I agree with most all the comments posted about this poem and Hughes. I
like the poem a lot and I found Hughes expressed about the commonalities we
all share.

But what I haven't read is this:

This poem is not an autobigrphical. The young speaker is a character
invented by Hughes when he a middle-aged man/author. Just FYI, because
this was not a true assignment for him at the time he wrote this poem, but
I do believe it reflects back to many events/assignments he had when he was
in his early twenties.

I respect this poem, and the man.


Kathryn Howard from United States
Comment 32 of 187, added on April 13th, 2007 at 9:13 PM.

This poem talks about the racism in America. The world need to know that
racism still exist in this country. Regardless of advances at this
particular time,still racism is the diet of this country. Why did people
such as Stokley Carmmichael,ect., left this country to go to another
country? Because of the propaganda that this country established since
1555. When you expose the hand, you are considered a threat to Natoinal
Security. Remember, in Washington, D.C. they call the Oval Office the White

Charles W. Brown from United States
Comment 31 of 187, added on June 22nd, 2006 at 9:59 PM.

i am a Chinese student and happened to learn this poem in our literature
class.i like Hughes's way of picturing what was happening to him in his
daily life.may be he's being taught that he's just the same as others yet
the reality told him things were not for being black. i think it's not
about the racialism. he just wanted to express his confusion and asked for
more equality from people around him. He had made the point very clearly
that whatever we accept or not, we are part of each other.

Fanny from China
Comment 30 of 187, added on June 8th, 2006 at 12:50 AM.

I am in a deep pit of dispair over this poem. I have to analyze it and
write a 4 page essay on the central idea of this poem and am having way too
hard of a time doing it. It seems pointless to me to write 1000 words on
something that can be summed up in 100. It's an alright poem, but then
again I never really liked poetry in t he first place, I'd rather listen to
a song, it's more entertaining.

Arthur from United States
Comment 29 of 187, added on May 22nd, 2006 at 11:09 PM.

I like this poem very much.

Melissa Thomas from United States
Comment 28 of 187, added on May 14th, 2006 at 8:54 AM.

An earlier comment was that the teacher in Hughes' "Theme" was "robotic."
I'm not so sure I agree. For example, the speaker of the poem doesn't say
that this professor merely espoused "truths" that he/she expected his/her
students to quietly accept, status quo "truths" at that, but that he/she
confirmed that whatever the students' wrote that night would be accepted as
"true." What's more, the "truths" that they found were not to be empirical
in nature, but come from their hearts. Therefore, the instructor is
essentially saying that whatever they felt was as "true" as fact, and the
fact that the instructor gives them this assignment at all tells me he/she
is willing to accept such a notion. True, the professor is used to white
truths; the speaker is the only black person in the class. I think,
however, the speaker takes advantage of the freedom of the assignment to
assert his freedom with what I have always felt is such pride and dignity.
I think he is hoping, and for good reason, that the professor will be open
to accepting the truths that he sets down on the page in order to fulfill
the assignment. Personally, I have always felt too that the professor was
thrilled to have received "Theme." Given the premise for the poem, I think
the instructor would be thrilled that this speaker/student hit the "voice"
nail right on the head.

beth Diemer from United States

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Information about Theme For English B

Poet: Langston Hughes
Poem: Theme For English B
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1717 times

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