America By Claude Mckay Essay

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America’s Shortfalls In the poem “America” written by Claude Mckay in the 1920’s, the speaker explains that even though America seems to be sucking the life out of him he still loves the country as it heads towards demise. The 1920’s were a very exciting time but also full of struggles. The recent invention of the automobile and subsequent lack of paved roads are a good example of an excitement and struggle these struggles and excitements could help us determine the meaning of the poem. The speaker in McKay’s poem is being drained of life to the point of death which when referring to America could mean a lot of things. In the first three lines of the poem Mckay writes that, “Although she feeds me bread of bitterness/and sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth/stealing my breath of life” these lines lead me to think he might be referring to the taxes that the government charges, which could have been so high as to steal his breath of life. Also, the bread of bitterness could represent the tax returns, it could have been bitter because there was no need to take it in the first place.…show more content…
In the fourth, fifth, and sixth lines the speaker says that he loves the country even though it seems to be trying to kill him. He says he “loves this cultured hell that tests my youth” as if America is challenging him to stay young, by giving him many responsibilities at a young age. He goes on and says “her vigor flows like tides into my blood/giving me strength erect against her hate” these lines caused me to think that Claude Mckay might have been a minority, and sure enough he is Jamaican-American. He says he is given strength against her hate, he was in a group of hated people and through their hate he was strengthened, like giving your enemy

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