Comparing Declaration Of Independence And Mckay's Poems

1344 Words6 Pages
America was, and continues to be, founded based on the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as the Declaration of Independence states, yet African American slavery had started as early as in the 1600’s. The poems America by Claude Mckay, A Far Cry From Africa by Derek Walcott, and Equality by Maya Angelou include the idea that a life lead by bias and injustice is not a life well lived and is best represented in each of their poems thou personifications. Claude Mckay is able to represent how important dreams are, even though they are not always part of the easiest road to follow. Derek Walcott specifies more on the thought that one person can be of more than one home in different areas, it will just be more difficult, but…show more content…
In this Shakespearean sonnet, the narrator states that America and the opportunities that it provides to him or her are very difficult and complex to reach. This is shown when Mckay says that America “feeds me bread of bitterness / and sinks my throat her tiger’s tooth,” which can be found in lines one and two. These lines show a clear personification of comparing America to a tiger to show the danger that African Americans face in America. With these two lines, the reader can interpret that America feeds stale bread, which can be seen as misfortune and torture for African Americans. The metaphor of the tiger’s teeth sinking into the narrator’s throat can be interpreted simply as another form of torture to go along with being fed stale bread, but if this idea is reflected on a little more deeply, one would possible see that choosing the throat as the body part being injured by the tiger is not just to take away the narrator's “breath of life,” which is said in the next line. This is because the throat is needed to speak and voice one’s opinions, and without it, America has taken away the narrator’s strongest and most useful defenses. In lines eight to ten, Claude Mckay states “as a rebel fronts a king in state, / I stand within her walls with not a shred / of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.” When a rebel is standing before a king, it does not usually seem to have anything good come out of it, and yet the narrator is not fearful at all. Using the king as a metaphor to America can also show society’s normal perspective on the narrator’s race and competence. This lack of fear could be that even with the miniscule amount of hope of surviving, the narrator seems sure that he will be able to keep going, especially because this king does not seem to have any implication of

    More about Comparing Declaration Of Independence And Mckay's Poems

      Open Document