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Theme for English B by Langston Hughes & Good Times by Lucil

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zoey marchiney

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Theme for English B by Langston Hughes & Good Times by Lucil

"Theme for English B" by Langston Hughes & "Good Times" by Lucille Clifton

"Theme for English B" by Langston Hughes
Figurative Language:
Rhetorical questions "I wonder if it's that simple?" (Line 6)
Enjambment line 25 - 26
Parallelism line 32
Alliteration line 24
Syntax "That's American."(line 33) and choppy syntax (line 19-20)

Attitude/Tone: Begins nonchalantly until line 24. Becomes more matter-of-fact.

Shifts: Beginnings of line 6, 16, 21 shift in commentary, and 25 is the change in tone.

"Theme for English B" by Langston Hughes
Title interpretation: Simple title for a complex writing assignment that the speaker makes insightful.

Theme: Differences between people should not negate one's innate freedom.
"Good Times" by Lucille Clifton
Paraphrase: The rent and insurance are paid. We have electricity again. My uncle has done well gambling. We are having a good time. My mom made dinner and everyone is drunk, singing, and dancing in the kitchen. We are having a good time. Children, remember the good times.

Speaker: Older woman reflecting on her childhood, possibly Lucille Clifton.

Figurative Language:
Epistrophe (line 7-9)
Syntax - lack of punctuation and capitalization
Parallel structure

"Theme for English B" by Langston Hughes
Paraphrase: A instructor gives instructions to write an essay that comes from within. The speaker wonders if the essay will actually be that simple. Then he gives some background on who he is, like his age - 22- his race, and hometown. The speaker then describes his walk back home from school. He says he's a part of Harlem and questions who he is. He lists the things that he likes, including music and activities. He says that being colored doesn't make him like different things from other people. There is unity in America. Races can learn from each other. The only difference between the speaker and his instructor is their race; consequently, his instructor is more free.

Speaker: 22 year old colored student from Winston- Salem
*Not Langston Hughes

AP Lit. Period 2
Zoey Marchiney, Clark Cannon, Mat Thomas

Attitude/ Tone: Nostalgic

Shifts: Line 17

Title: Remembering the good times she had as a young girl, implying that she might not be in a good spot.

Theme: One should appreciate the good times and live in the present.

Carpe Diem
"Theme for English B" by Langston Hughes
The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you—
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you.
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?

Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?
Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white—
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you’re older—and white—
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.
"Good Times" by Lucille Clifton
My Daddy has paid the rent
and the insurance man is gone
and the lights is back on
and my uncle Brud has hit
for one dollar straight
and they is good times
good times
good times

My Mama has made bread
and Grampaw has come
and everybody is drunk
and dancing in the kitchen
and singing in the kitchen
Oh these is good times
good times
good times

oh children think about the
good times...
"Good Times" by Lucille Clifton
Full transcript