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"Cross" by Langston Hughes

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by

Johnna Mitchell

on 7 December 2015

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Transcript of "Cross" by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes
Feb. 1, 1902-May 22, 1967
Passed from prostate cancer
Poet, social activist, novelist, playwright
Multi-racial (both parents mixed)
Time Period
Published January 1926
During "Cultural Civil War"
Discussed racial segregation
Literary Devices
Theme
Inner turmoil based on the speaker's mixed racial heritage
Structure & Form
"Cross" by langston hughes
johnna Mitchell
Lyric poem
Free verse
Rhyme Scheme: ABAB (except for lines 5,7)
Mainly iambic feet
Creates musical effect
Interpretation
Poet compares the life of his mother and father
Sees the difference in quality
Accepted by neither blacks nor whites
Wonders how his life will end because he is mixed
Literary Devices (Cont.)
Synechdoche
"my old man died in a fine big house"
"my ma died in a shack"
Represents rank in society
Black vs. Whites
Harlem Renaissance
1920s-1930s
Literary/artistic movement
Publishing of realistic black life literature
Hughes was an influential leader
Connotation
Cross-mixed, crucifix, crossroads
Antithesis
Mother's life vs. Father's life
Shows contrast between quality
Alliteration
"M"s and "W"s make it sound musical
Literary Devices: Tone

Stanzas 1 & 2: Regret
Speaker looks back on the way he treated his parents
"If ever", "sorry", "wish"
Stanza 3, lines 3-4: Confusion
Wonders about his place in society being mixed
Full transcript