Harlem Shadows By Claude Mckay

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Claude McKay was an influential leader of the Harlem Renaissance while also advocating against the racism that African-Americans had received. He wrote many works for this cause, among them was the poem known as America inside of the text of his book Harlem Shadows. People have many different thoughts and beliefs, but James R. Keller tries to give his analysis of America along with McKay’s other works. He explicates it in his article titled as ‘A chafing savage, down the decent street’: The Politics of Compromise in Claude McKay’s Protest Sonnets. Keller argues that McKay was using a traditional verse to which represents a conscious stage to give a stronger fight in his ideological poetry. Keller address that McKay tries to get the support…show more content…
Keller points out that McKay uses images of the Christian religion to give the dramatic effect showing the unjust oppression and persecution of the African-Americans (Keller 3). An example would be the depictions of blacks wearing the crown of thorns and suffering from many bleeding wounds. Keller outlines that McKay is mocking the American politicians that are fixing other countries, but leaving racial injustice to impair the politics in the home country (Keller 3). However, his efforts were contained in ways that he could not imagine; as it was used by the ascendant white culture during the Second World War to rally support against the Fascist Axis Powers. This effect would have McKay regard its salvation towards a war that was an overt manifestation of ideological double-dealing; to which it denounced the very fight it was initially trying to…show more content…
Keller suggests that the phrase "cultural hell" is illustrating the destruction that generates an artistic beauty. In his poem, McKay states that he gains this love of the country through the brutality against him; to which makes him exuberant. In the first two stanzas, McKay explains that as he eats the "bread of bitterness" it is extracted by the country's "tiger tooth" (Keller 4). Keller explicates that McKay is assigning the hatred to the country, not himself; as he expresses a love that is filled with much contempt towards

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