Analysis Of If WE SHOULD Die Poem English Literature Essay

The Poem "If WE SHOULD Die", by Claude Mckay portrays the deep feelings felt during the discord between blacks and whites in the us in the early 20th century. It had been during these years that riots related to race were experienced in the United States of America. The whites would attack the blacks and vice versa.

Many black authors living in Harlem in 1920's became involved in a Renaissance to be able to provide a speech to the public about these episodes. A grouping of performers and writers merged to form a motion whose pride was in their endeavors. The Renaissance was fueled by migrations of African-Americans from Caribbean and Manhattan and military going back from World Conflict I who thought satisfaction in their armed forces escapades. It had been under such circumstances that the poem "If WE SHOULD Die" was born (Hutchinson, 62)

The poem was a wake-you-up call for the blacks to stand up and fight for his or her rights. They were to take action valiantly and with courage because the oppression they experienced was a great deal to bear. The riots got wrought havoc in the united states and were seen as a savage functions, massacres, tragedy and unjustifiable fatalities of blacks. The poem thus became an enthusiasm to black in order that they could avoid the episodes. Its recognition grew to a extent that come World Warfare II, the United kingdom PM, Churchill applied it as a determination in struggling the Nazi under Adolf Hitler.

Perhaps a look at the writer's life may provide an information on what the poem was about. Claude McKay was created in 1890 in Jamaica. He was raised in a black society in the days when color-conscious culture was a norm. He was ambitious and knowledgeable despite belonging to a minority competition. Mckay creativity led him to love books where he noticed an chance to increase his thoughts in poetry. The first works in form of two literature was done whilst still in Jamaica in the neighborhood dialect. He moved into USA in 1912 and soon became aware of evils of racism. This made a rebel out of him and he was to find himself yearning to right the wrong. The extent to which racism was eating the contemporary society disillusioned him that he searched for a way to exhibit it, hence this poem and many more.

McKay uses a volume of styles in the poem such as the octave, sestet and mockery. The sonnet's words is in the iambic pentameter which means that the couplet carries the communication across. Imagery is used, where tropes come in to play. Tropes result in the helplessness and relentless of people confronted with oppression. His articles and essay revolved around blacks issues like civil privileges; community based ethnic development and ethnic pluralism in America and the globe (Holt and Winston, 5)

The themes which may be deduced in this poem are; Honor, Bravery, Purpose, Id, Alienation, Rebellion, Community Development, Mortality, Masculinity and Men, and Warfare.

Bravery: McKay appeals to his people to avoid with courage and conviction those who murder them. The dark-colored people were by then anxious and rebellion was rife. This can be interpreted as instilling bravery on fellow blacks who have been undergoing tough times. The opening brand "If we should die" is meant to encourage bravery to the fighters to go out there and react whatever the consequences. This is also seen in the line encouraging visitors to face the murderous, cowardly pack like men.

Mortality: McKay exhibits death as inescapable and part of real human life. His fantasies about loss of life exceed those of Emily Dickinson and other Affectionate poets like Keats. The poet is not actually just fantasizing loss of life but facing it. He seems more preoccupied by the way he dies rather if it happens and how. Fatality here becomes, such as Greek mythology, a show of purpose, power and nobility. Fatality is possible to them as shown in the lines ending before us lays the wide open grave.

Warfare: The impression crated in the poem is one of any brewing conflict. McKay urges his visitors to fight bravery whether or not they die or not; and fatality is likely. It seems his people are overpowered and it is them who look as being hunted, hence the need to retaliate. By using the ritual of hunting as a graphic, we watch from practices that the purpose is to kill, as as it happens when an example may be hunting an pet. In that situation, there are no guidelines of engagement and every means is pleasant. The imagined opponent is using force to fight and force must also be used against them. There's a call never to quit. "Pressed to the wall structure, dying, but fighting with each other back", is a circumstance common in battle.

Masculinity: The whole business of fighting with each other either bravery or nobly is associated with men. Men are from forever known to be violent. The assertion that they battle honorably is utilized to identify between cowards and real men. Masculine imagery is utilized to enforce works of war and hunting. All of the words of the poem can only just refer to men chat since history also depicts men as warriors.

Honor: Through the poem are functions that the speaker feels should be cured with honor and esteem. From this ideology, he assumes they may be oppressed and they are justified to struggle honorably and pass away honorably. It will not be considered a matter of matter having less guidelines, revenge and unstoppable bravery so long as people battle and expire for a just cause. It really is in fatality where honor is bestowed and viewed more than life with oppression. Range eight summarizes this theme, "will be constrained to honor us though inactive!" (Shmoop, 2010)

Rhetorical strategies: Rhetoric is divided into taxis which handles the argument composition and just how lines and phrases donate to effective understanding. Lexis on the other hands deals with feelings that appeal to individual conditions. Both of these forms are designed to sway the ignorant listeners and provoke a effect. Tropes such as metaphor and irony are types of rhetoric that have been used in the poem.

Examples of rhetoric are thus: Hogs are castrated male pigs and this rhetoric refers to the way people perish without choice as they are hunted by vicious canines. By choosing hogs, the copy writer wants to bring about the powerlessness of the enemies. Pigs usually don't pass away in a noble way and this is a depiction of the sort of death awaiting the oppressed in the pursuit of their rights. Lines three, "hunted and penned in an inglorious area", goes on showing the facet of being captured in a pen; as pigs.

Dogs have been used to represent the opponent in the poem. The image raised is form of vicious pet dogs which stir some sort of fear to the listener. In evaluating hungry dogs hunting their victim to the enemies, the poet would like to effect a result of the inhuman aspect associated with them. The dogs are "mad and starving" is some sort of prolonged metaphor which denotes their purpose of being eliminating beasts. There can be an irony in the manner canines are portrayed as mocking the foe; a starving dog would not automatically play with food.

Christian imagery: The shedding of "special blood vessels" can be associated with biblical story of the loss of life of Jesus whereby his fatality is seen purposeful redeeming man.

An Address to the Slaves of the United States: It was dealt with to African-American slaves who have been undergoing a harsh life. The article writer highlights that slavery experienced created a gap between your oppressor and the oppressed. A message of expectation is directed at individuals in the idea that slavery is quicker going to be a thing of days gone by. As people increase and get enlightened, those perpetuating slavery are loosing their hold as a result of pressure. The blacks have presented a number of grievances and they are given an confidence that they will be applied. The overall world is also blamed since they just look right down to the plight of the blacks as they continue to be oppressed (Chapman, 372)

A record spanning some two hundred and twenty years provide the hopes and expectation people got as they migrated into the New World. Many of them had never appreciated liberty and peacefulness but were fulfilled by problem, cruelty and slavery. Finally, enough time possessed come for emancipation to take place and therefore the rallying phone calls in the "address". It is astounding to note that over three million people were even denied to learn the Bible, the only material that may provide hope in the face of adversity. Colonists, the English, had considered slavery to an increased level by embracing its benefit and this resulted in people fighting for independence and liberty. Slavery brought a great deal of misery to the people.

Quoting form the Bible, the copy writer uses its teaching to rebuke slavery atlanta divorce attorneys manner and need his fellow citizens and brothers to stand up and withstand this evil. The storyplot of Israelites in captivity in Egypt and eventual redemption is one such teaching. Further analogy relates buying and selling slaves is compared to the same action people regard beasts. Apart from the normal exchange of man as a beast, other barbaric activities took place like separating children from parents, raping young women and compelled labor.

In concluding the address, the people are given a decision between death and liberty. Many heroes and martyrs are named to effect those who would be cowardly to handle the fight they may be about to embark on. The fight will count on all these enthusiasm and the seek out freedom all combined by the actual fact that they are numerous; four million victims (Widmer, and Ted, 314).

Comparison to other works

This address comes even close to McKay poem "If WE SHOULD Die" in the sense that both are used to motivate people directly into action. Both are filled up with imagery that captures the imagination of men and women and compel them to do something or be annihilated by communal evils occurring. For example, McKay uses a line "though significantly outnumbered let us show us daring" and this can be set alongside the Garnet declaration that "our company is four million". Boldness and courage are noticed in both works since they stood to give a tone to the masses.

Vernacular tradition: This identifies the custom of poetry that was common to African-Americans in the 19th century. Such inspiring works were common in vernacular traditions and virtually all revolved around a quest for freedom. Inside the vernacular traditions chapters dealing with spirituals, gospel and secular rhymes, the designs are similar and are carefully linked with the note in the poem.

Harlem Renaissance: Harlem renaissance enjoyed a major role in exhibiting that blacks too possessed literary capabilities by contributing much towards poetry, music and artwork. It also presented satisfaction and dignity between black in the face of oppression by the majority whites (Haskins J. et al, 152).

In finish, the "poem" as well as the "address" results in a sense of hate for an bad that is making people unpleasant. This hate is too strong and can be complemented by love one feel for his country; America in the New World was meant to be considered a place devoid of all oppression and an utopia to live in. much time was squandered to take it to the end that vernacular traditions writers felt should not be so. Considering that all people are created equal and for that reason have equal rights, racism becomes a major hindrance towards achieving the widespread goal of brotherhood (Axelrod et al. , 453)

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