Langston Hughes

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Compare and contrast "The Weary Blues" by Langston Hughes with "I, too."

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Both "I, Too" and "The Weary Blues" focus on African American men who try to express themselves. In "I, Too," the speaker tries to express himself by an act of simple defiance, namely his refusal to "eat in the kitchen / When company comes." His act of defiance is built upon the assertion that he too represents and is America. In "The Weary Blues," the piano player expresses himself through his music and his singing. His form of self-expression is also defined, at least in part, as an act of defiance. The piano player's music is an act of defiance against his oppression as a black man, which is implied by the fact that the music he plays is called "those Weary Blues."

One key difference between the two poems is that "I, Too" is written in free verse , meaning that it has no regular rhyme scheme or meter, whereas "The Weary Blues" has a more regular rhyme scheme. The free verse form of "I, Too" lends to the poem a more natural, spontaneous tone, which helps create the impression that the...

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