Theme for English B Questions and Answers
by Langston Hughes

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I have to give an explanation of the theme and structure of "Theme for English B," expanding it to the tone, so I'm confused. Can anybody help me with analyzing these?

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The primary theme in Hughes's "Theme for English B" is the anxiety black men feel in a predominantly white educational system. The speaker in this poem tells us that he is the only black student in his class, and therefore he has a lot of anxiety about his project. The speaker is worried that his race will overshadow whatever he decides to write. This is made clear when he says the following:

I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?
This anxiety is reflected in the structure of the poem, as the speaker begins by quoting his instructor:
Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you -
Then, it will be true.
By opening the poem with this quotation, the speaker demonstrates to his instructor that he has been paying attention and that he is just as good of a student as the white students in his class. He knows his assignment but is worried about how what he produces will be...

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