McKay constructs the setting of soldiers in battle, but the circumstances and the creative mind of the reader informs that the fight is to free a displaced and enslaved nation. Too often we allow envy to cause us to lose sight of the common foe. He also write poetry of extraordinary lyrical quality and profound emotional depth with a precise eye toward details that brought his observations to life. Knowing that this would lead to death, the speaker tells those with him that their deaths will be noble, and that they must be men and face those cowards taunting and fighting them. It tears me apart inside to imagine how they must have felt knowing that their lives were going to be taken away, without a pure logical explanation as to why. McKay utilizes imagery to its fullest extent creating an end result which any man or woman, black or white, who has ever felt the hard and hateful hand of oppression can relate to. This piece of work does not fit into the militant life but it does however somewhat fit into the life of a peasant.
Though motivated by the same hardships, people, and events, the works of both Hughes, and McKay show glaring differences in the perspectives of the authors. The poet shows the experience they are going through by saying; Due to this politically charged situation death at least seems the best thing to help a person sort out what is important in life. Overall the tone sets off a motivational and inspiring mood. Claude McKay was born in 1890 in Jamaica. The historical setting of the poem becomes one of the major themes of If We Must Die. Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow! The sonnet form becomes an appropriate battlefield for the contest between McKay's sense of himself as a gentleman and the need to respond to racial violence.
Repetition and imagery are also crucial in explaining this message the narrator is presenting. We all have to try. What though before us lies the open grave? Tropics in New York This poem is resonant of his pastoral reflections of innocence and the yearning of childhood. Those poems are more pastoral evocations of innocence and childhood and a love for his homeland that are absent the outrage and anger which American inspired when he was awakened to virulent racism. The immediate goal of the republication was to spark further black boldness in all these battles.
A poem inspired by violent race riots, it serves as a motivating anthem representative of an entire culture. Claude McKay builds on this idea of duality in his poem. Although African Americans are far from a hog, sadly and very unjustly African Americans were once treated that way, we were once being hunted, we were once being cornered and slaughtered just the same. He calls on them to fight back even though they have no chance of winning. He was educated by his older brother, who possessed a library of English novels, poetry, and scientific texts. It is not the question of whether he will die or what will happen when he dies it is about how he will meet death. Towards the end of the poem, McKay expressed that if they were going to die, at least have them leave some dignity behind, after fighting a long hard fight.
What may be seen as a simplistic or naïve poem about Jamaican life may actually be full of double meanings that only a select audience would be able to identify. Autoplay next video I would be wandering in distant fields Where man, and bird, and beast, lives leisurely, And the old earth is kind, and ever yields Her goodly gifts to all her children free; Where life is fairer, lighter, less demanding, And boys and girls have time and space for play Before they come to years of understanding-- Somewhere I would be singing, far away. Written during the summer of 1919 when prejudice and injustice ran rampant against African Americans who were hunted down and pursued like hogs. There was still much discrimination put against them; something that this poem happens to exhibit. Great events had occurred between the time when I had first met Frank Harris and my meeting with Max Eastman.
As such, he influenced later poets, including Langston Hughes. His poem If We Must Die encourages African Americans to stand up for themselves, both literally during the race riots of 1919 and figuratively by lending their voices to the Harlem Renaissance. This is a call to arms; McKay is telling his community that they are at war and that they must stand up and fight instead of lying down and letting their loved ones be killed. To him death is an opportunity to show strength, nobility and purpose. People can relate to the speaker's struggles. McKay conveys this message through expressive words and vivid imagery. Which brings the reference to animals such as hogs McKay used to describe how poorly African-Americans were treated.
Etched into the consciousness of literate black Americans for generations to come as a model of Afro-American heroism, this poem has become a point of reference for the entire racial experience and a touchstone of the Afro-American entry into subjectivity. What though before us lies the open grave? McKay wrote this poem in response to these race riots that resulting in the deaths of numerous Black people. This is displayed in the first stanza, as the author… 959 Words 4 Pages danger, the esteemed poet Claude McKay boldly spoke out against the cruelty shown towards his people. The audience is direted towards the allies who agree that there is some form of injustice The purpose is to encourage the audience to go against the enemy, and motivate them to get what is wanted The subject of the poen is relative to war, and also courage to be able to stand up for beliefs. Du Bois, wrote about the 'two-ness' of African Americans: how they are caught between being black and being American. Losing faith in Communism, he turned his attention to the teachings of various spiritual and political leaders in Harlem, eventually converting to Catholicism.
If We Must Die by: Claude Mckay Analysis Paper Essay If We Must Die, by Claude McKay is a sonnet written during the Harlem Renaissance period; a period where there was a flowering of African-American literature and art, 1919- mid 1930s. If We Must Die was written as a response to what is now called the Red Summer of 1919. Then he speaks of the enemy as being a monster because dogs are too human to be portrayed as what is being represented. At the time it was published, serious race riots primarily involving White assaults on Black neighborhoods in a dozen American cities were occurring. Let's read the poem and then discuss it.
McKay's viewpoints and poetic achievements in the earlier part of the twentieth century set the tone for the Harlem Renaissance and gained the deep respect of younger black poets of the time, including. The writer provided several examples to indicate some of the disheartening abuse that people experienced and how they would unfortunately die from the abuse. This specific sonnet create feelings of inspiration and motivation for readers during the period of time when anti-black riots seem to transcend beyond the norm, thus prompting readers to believe that this particular poem referred specifically to whites and blacks. The poem is written in iambic pentameter; but the poet varies the iambic pattern by using trochaic, spondaic, and anapestic feet to underscore images and ideas. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.