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Will V-day be Me-day too?
Transcript of Will V-day be Me-day too?
Voice and Main Theme
Significance of The Title
The writer's voice is from the standpoint of an African American Soldier
- It explains the poem and introduces a theme
- The rhyming serves to make it memorable
- Hooks the reader, makes them want to read it
- Sets up a judgemental tone
Langston Hughes is asking when will African- Americans receive equal rights as their fellow Veterans.
When the US was fighting in WWI and WWII, all other national issues paled in comparison of the importance of helping the war cause. But upon V-E and V-J day, that was no longer the case.
Throughout the poem, Hughes' tone is angry and critical. He is disappointed in the country in which he lives that he must fight for it, but can't be completely free from discrimination. He therefore is somewhat criticizing his "fellow Americans" in asking if Jim Crow will still clip his wings. However, he is also somewhat hopeful in asking, "Will V-Day be me-day too?"
By Langston Hughes
Rhythm and Rhyme Scheme
There is no regularly repeating rhyme scheme within this poem. But the rhythm gives the main points of the poem emphasis. The rhythm comes from the rhythm of the words.
Langston Hughes uses powerful diction to create an image of how an African American soldier was treated when he comes home from WWII.
There are many examples of alliteration in the poem, they are usually found in the sixth line of the stanza and introduce the main points found in the seventh and eighth lines
-Shall I be color's slave?
-From the factories and the farms
"Dear Fellow Americans" - from FDR's D-Day Speech
"The Germans and the Japs" - America's fight against the Germans and Japanese in WW2
"As the Germans did the Jews" - Jews were sent to Concentration Camps during WW2
"Will you heard me in a Jim Crow car like cattle" - The Jews were stuffed into cattle cars to be taken to Concentration camps and Jim Crow laws were laws segregating African Americans as Hitler also did to the Jews
"I'm a Tan-skinned Yank"
"Will V-Day be Me-Day too?
"I fight--or stevedore, too"
"And there'd be no Jim Crow birds"
"When we see Victory's glow"
"Will I still be ill-fated"
"Or will you stand up like a man"
"When we lay the guns away"
"On every battle line I've dropped defeat into the Fascist's laps"
"Jim Crow birds" - symbol for the laws segregating African Americans
"When we see Victory's glow" - personification
"Will you still let old Jim Crow hold me back?" - personification
"Shall I still be color's slave?" personification
"Will you herd me in a Jim Crow car like cattle?" - simile
Hughe's repetition of "when" gives the reader his sense of urgency in demanding when he will be free
He repeats "will" and "I" several times in the poem as well as "when"