“Theme for English B” begins with some words of a college professor Instructing his students to write a paper that “will be true. ” After this is said the speaker questions if this assignment is really “that simple. ” As he reflects on his life before writing his assignment, he enlightens the reader of his current status In America. He Is a mere “twenty-two, colored” college student; more Importantly he Is the “only colored student” In his class.
After approaching the “Harlem Branch Y,” and returning to his apartment, the beaker begins his paper _ He reflects on his life as an average twenty-two year old student. He begins to ignore race and tries to focus on his individuality. He likes “a pipe for a Christmas present or records-Bessie, bop, or Bach. ” This sentence provides a perfect example of alliteration. Keeping in mind to “let that page come out of you-?I Then, it will be true”, the speaker is honest with himself and tries not to hide behind the “white” page.
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He identifies with his culture and lets the reader “see and hear, Harlem”. This poem shows the speaker’s “true” feelings towards society, how some white people “don’t want to be a part of me”. He reflects on the present state of blacks in America, racism, and most importantly the oppression he feels as a black student stating that “white” people are “somewhat more free”. I believe Hughes wrote this poem as a protest against racism. Through his speaker, Hughes desperately pleads with his readers to strive for a unified America free of racism.