Imagine being the only African-American student in her English class in a time when human being of different races weren"t treated as equals. That"s the instance in Langston Hughes" "Theme for English B," a city that expose the speaker"s struggle to translate an assignment from his white instructor. Transparent the poem, the speaker wrestles through the an interpretation of truth and also whether two world as various as lock are can view it the exact same way.

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In poetry, ton is the speaker"s emotional attitude toward the topic matter. In ~ the start of "Theme because that English B," the speaker provides an uncertain, questioning tone to describe the teacher"s assignment to compose a page about himself, questioning if he have the right to really create something "true" since he"s so various from the other students. However, the tone progressively becomes much more assertive together he describes his struggle as a minority student and also interests. Through the finish of the poem, that feels cost-free to directly confront the differences between him and his teacher and the potential fallacies in the assignment.


"Theme because that English B" is a persona poem, a poem narrated through a specific character. Hughes includes great detail in relenten his character"s background, interests and also attitudes. The speaker starts by sharing that he is initially from the South and also began university there, yet now has moved to his current school in Harlem. This discover the speaker"s journey for education, but also alludes to battles with gyeongju that may have actually driven him north. The speaker likewise shares his passions and also interests, such together knowledge and also music. Through the end of the poem, readers have a clear see of the speaker"s identity and goals.

Stream of Consciousness

"Theme for English B" is created in a stream-of-consciousness style, a narrative an approach meant to mirror the i of thoughts through the mind. Hughes offers this method to reflect the speaker"s train of thought as the writes his paper. Throughout the poem, the speaker move from explicate his past to his present journey to class each day to the activities and understand that describe him. This free-writing style ultimately leads him to deal with the similarities and also differences in between him and also his teacher and open communication around their differing see of "truth."


Ultimately, "Theme for English B" addresses the commonalities that exist regardless of prejudice. The speaker claims that regardless of race, both he and his white instructor room Americans -- also if castle don"t constantly want to acknowledge their comparable identity. Despite their void in age, race and also economic status, however, the speaker wants to learn from the instructor, but also believes the instructor can learn a lot native him. Follow to lesson activities from Houston Independent college District, the poem shows that cultural differences frequently keep human being from discovering how similar they are.

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Kori Morgan stop a Bachelor of arts in skilled writing and a grasp of well Arts in creative writing and also has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006. She taught an imaginative writing and composition in ~ West Virginia University and the college of Akron and also her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in plenty of literary journals.