What is the analysis of "America" by Claude McKay?

What is an analysis of "America" by Claude McKay? 

Claude McKay's "America" is an English sonnet in which the speaker personifies the country, attributing to it a feminine identity. The speaker expresses both his love and bitterness for the country, which is powerful but filled with racism, and foresees its eventual destruction.

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Claude MacKay’s “America” is an English or Shakespearean sonnet in perfectly regular iambic pentameter. It has a turn (a change of ideas or perspectives) at the end of the octave but another more substantial turn in the final couplet. All these classical elements, together with the elevated diction and constant use of figurative language, contribute to the sense of high seriousness and literary virtuosity which distinguish the poem.

The first quatrain contains two contrasting images. The “bread of bitterness” is at least some sustenance, but as soon as America (personified as a woman) has fed him, she tears at his throat. Nonetheless, he loves her, even while describing her as a “cultured hell.” This juxtaposition of contrasts recurs throughout the sonnet.

The second quatrain opens with a similar paradox . The vigor of America flows into the poet’s blood, strengthening him to oppose her own hate so that she fights both for and against him. Her vigor is compared with the tides...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1050 words.)

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