Help with the viewpoint of "We Real Cool" & "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."The poems “We Real Cool” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” use a viewpoint that is unusual in this unit. What is...

Help with the viewpoint of "We Real Cool" & "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."

The poems “We Real Cool” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” use a viewpoint that is unusual in this unit. What is the unusual viewpoint? In each poem, whom does that viewpoint represent? How does the viewpoint relate to the theme of each of the two poems?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous post was accurate in that the unusual viewpoint is not clear to us for the unit was not thoroughly explained.  This is where you would have to contrast the viewpoint in both Brooks' and Hughes' poem and compare it to the other viewpoints in the poems you have studied in the unit thus far.  This could take a couple of forms.  Initially, analyze the point of view that Brooks presents in her poem.  What does this point of view believe and what is its primary motivation?  What does this point of view feel about the social order?  These same questions can be applied to the Hughes' poem.  With these answers, analyze the other point of views presented in your unit and you should be able to determine some significant differences.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is not really possible for any of us to answer most of this question because we do not know what the rest of this unit has been about.  That means that there is no way that we can know why these poems' viewpoints are so unusual.

The only thing the two poems' viewpoints have in common, however, seems to be that the speakers in both are African American.  In both cases, the speakers seem to be trying to get across the idea that black lives are worth more than some give them credit for.

Brooks is saying that black youth themselves do not value their lives highly enough.  Hughes is saying that black people have a deeper history and therefore more dignity than they are given credit for.

 

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The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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