The South Essay, Research Paper
The South has many objects associated with it, to where it is considered either a beautiful place or very disturbing. In The South , Langston Hughes describes his feelings of the south from the point of view of a black man who
has had an experience in the region before. Hughes use of the speaker, the
tone presented, frequent usage of personification, along with a persuasive
theme separate this work above pieces created by other American authors of his time.
The speaker of The South is Hughes himself. He is telling the story of his experiences of the times that he had spent while in the southern United States. He begins by describing the attitudes of many southerners and how they are lazy and cannot accomplish anything without slaves there for them. From here, Hughes describes the environment of the south. He sees its beauty and how the environment itself is much better than that of the north.
The tone received by the reader in The South is one of an attacking setting. Hughes throughout the piece is attacking the white people of the south, while calling them such things as with blood on its mouth and seductive as a dark-eyed whore. By this, southerners are being compared to malicious animals in the wild. He is saying that the south is just out to cause pain and ruin lives. By the seductive as a dark-eyed whore quote, Hughes is comparing the south to a whore, and how you may want a part of it real bad, but you know better than to try it.
The personification used in The South is what tells the story. It is used in many references for the people in the south, its environment, as well as its attitudes. But she spits in my dace. And I, who am black, would give her many rare gifts but she turns her back upon me. In these few sentences, Hughes is describing the racism and discrimination in the south. He is also stating how he claims to have tried to make it in the south, but it spits in his face. Southerners in this piece are also said to be as scratching in the dead fire s ashes for a Negro s bones. By this, Hughes is putting down the work habits of all southerners. He is saying that without slaves, the southerners do not know how to work hard in the demanding environment that the south provides.
Discrimination and racism are the themes of this piece. This becomes obvious throughout when Hughes uses many examples describing the attitudes of the people of the south as: child-minded south , idiot-brained , and his mentioning of a spell of the south. He later comments on how he now chooses to live in the cold-faced north to escape the racism in the south. This piece tells us perhaps the feelings of all African-Americans who choose to live in the north, and how they feel about the discrimination they sometimes fall upon while in the southern states.
Hughes uses himself as the speaker, an attacking tone, a great deal of
personification, and a strong theme to create this piece and to make it what it is.
He does all of this in hopes of enlightening the south of its first appearances from
the view of a black northern American.