If We Must Die By Claude Mckay Essay

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In the poem “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay which is one of the most powerful poem from the Harlem Renaissance. In this poem McKay demonstrates his rage that he have about the racial issues that was going on back them. This poem was written in 1919 was when the World War had ended and there was outbreaks of wars between the blacks and the whites. Also this was around the time when the slaves was abolished but the whites stilled treated the blacks bad still. It shows how blacks are under attack and that their lives are in danger. That African American have to be careful because they are killing us no matter what. He want his people to stand us for yourself and fight back. He wrote this poem as a sonnet and is an iambic pentameter. The devices that take control of the poem and put it all together is the tone, theme,…show more content…
He start off saying that African Americans are like hogs who is being hunted down by a pack of mad and hungry dogs which is whites. “If we must die, let it not be like hogs/Hunted and peened down in an inglorious spot, white round us bark mad and hungry dogs.”(1-3) He uses the animals to display how the whites use to have power and will hunt them down no matter what. When he said that they are peened down he is talking about that they are held in a cage and cannot be set free. The dogs are degraded throughout the poem as monsters and cowards. McKay throws in a biblical allusion in the poem. He said ‘so that our precious blood may not be shed/In vain ;”( 6-7). The biblical allusion is precious blood which is found in the bible Peter 1:19. In the bible it is referring to the blood of Christ and is more appreciated than anything you may know. In the poem he is referring to how the blood represent the value that an African American have. He also “If we die, O let us nobly die, (5). He is saying if we die let it be how Christ died with respect and

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