¶ … Mulatto" by Langston Hughes is that the figure of the tragic mulatto highlights the contradictions of white society in his presence and person: both during the era in which the poem is set and also during the Harlem Renaissance when Hughes wrote. The significance of the work lies in the fact that for the first time blacks in America were able to have a distinct literary voice after being oppressed and denied literacy and social agency even after the end of slavery. "Hughes used his writing to reflect his thoughts about political injustices, racial oppression, poverty, the black experience, family, and work" (Flick 1).
The poem "Mulatto" is a dramatic monologue, a poem which is not narrated in the voice of the poet like a lyric work but instead assumes the role of another character, often one who is marginal and despised, like the murderer of Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess." In the case of "Mulatto," Hughes highlights not only the conflicts and racial contradictions of American society but also black society which despises mulattos...
Hughes' literary works made some people uncomfortable as Hughes "did not want to exalt the black community to a position above reproach, and he did not try to appease the white community by blunting the edges of racism's harsh reality. This attitude did not endear him to blacks or whites," notes literary critic Amy Flick of the Center of Working Class studies.
Flick also notes that "the black critics often condemned Hughes. They thought that he was irresponsibly portraying the black culture as lowly and primitive. They felt that he was sending a poor message to the white community and thereby generating more racial tension." In "Mulatto" Hughes not only condemns white rape of black, enslaved women but the subsequent racial divides within black society that this caused, effectively creating color lines between blacks as well as reinforcing but also breaking down the color barrier between blacks and whites. The figure of the tragic mulatto was a common one during this era: "The tragic mulatto myth historically painted biracial people as emotionally unstable and destined to fit in neither black…
The duke virtually suffered of megalomania, as he considered himself to be an almost supernatural being which had been endowed with the power to control other people's lives. The duke did not consider his wife to be more than a simple object, as he almost identified her with a painting. Furthermore, he believed his wife to be similar to something that could simply be replaced when it finished serving
Last Duchess Jealousy, Rage, and Possession in Browning's "My Last Duchess" Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" emphasizes Victorian ideals of women and allows readers to understand how they were objectified. In this macabre poem, Browning uses the themes of jealousy, rage, and possessiveness to describe what motivated the Duke to behave as he did. In the poem, the unnamed narrator has transformed his wife into an object on numerous occasions and
Last Duchess The Objectification of Women in Victorian England and Browning's "My Last Duchess" Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" is a macabre poem about jealousy and rage, which simultaneously highlights Victorian ideals of women and their role in society. In "My Last Duchess," the unnamed narrator has not only objectified his last wife, nonchalantly telling the emissary sent to arrange his next marriage about his last wife and the tensions that
Last Duchess' is a poem narrated by a widowed Duke as he looks at a portrait of his first wife. Through the Duke's voice it first appears that he is an evil character and should not marry another woman, less she be treated the same. With a more careful analysis and putting the Duke's words in the context of the situation, we see that the Duke has faults that
In an attempt to curb his boredom, the imprisoned lawyer spends his time reading, writing, and playing music, while the banker slowly loses his money. Realizing that if the lawyer fulfills his part of the deal, the banker will lose the remainder of his fortune, he plots to murder him. Unbeknownst to the banker, the lawyer has developed a disdain for material things and has counter-plotted in favor of
In common households, they were mothers, daughters and wives. In high class societies, they were seen as a pricey decoration item that was supposed to possess certain qualities like haughtiness and vanity. The duke always suspected his wife of being charmed by others. He felt that she enjoyed glances and compliments from other men and that these pleased her. That was the reason, he had her killed. This is a