{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

American Identities Final Paper

The metaphor being used here represents the literal

Info iconThis preview shows pages 3–5. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The metaphor being used here represents the literal color change that took place when the African American’s were burned . With this theme of color, Toomer is able to portray the separation between blacks and whites literally and symbolically . The alliteration used in these lines are with the words, “ash”, “flesh”, and “flame” . These words are of obvious importance and by using alliteration, Toomer is able to put stress on these words of significance . In Claude McKay’s poem, “The Lynching”, he starts the poem with a spiritual tone: His Spirit in smoke ascended to high heaven. His father, by the cruelest way of pain, Had bidden him to his bosom once again; The awful sin remained still unforgiven(2111, 1-4). These lines mark the difference between McKay’s tone and that of Brooks and Toomer. As opposed to the latter two, McKay regards the victim of the lynching as a “Spirit”. Most literary representations of lynchings only focus on the horrific image of the hanging African American, however McKay’s poem introduces the religious and spiritual aspect to these horrible deaths. By 3
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
capitalizing the word “spirit”, McKay also emphasizes the direct identification between spirit and body. As soon as the African American dies, their spirit “ascends to heaven”, a more peaceful way of thinking of death. Although lynchings were horrific acts of violence, McKay stresses the spiritual aspect, which contributes a tone of empathy to the poem. McKay also focuses on the contrast in mood that was present at a lynching . This general contrast between lightness and darkness is evident in line 10 of the poem, “The ghastly body swaying in the sun”(2111) . With this line, McKay provides his reader with the haunting image of a beautiful day in regards to weather, yet a horrific hanging that casts a shadow . This general contrast is made more specific in the following lines, “The women thronged to look, but never a one/Showed sorrow in her eyes of steely blue”(12-13) . Not only does this capture the eery indifference the onlookers felt towards the lynchings, but it also portrays the beauty of the white
Background image of page 4
Image of page 5
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page3 / 5

The metaphor being used here represents the literal color...

This preview shows document pages 3 - 5. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon bookmark
Ask a homework question - tutors are online