“I Hear America Singing” and “I, Too”

Haven’t you, just like anybody else in America, wanted to be equal. Well, being treated the same in America is a hard task to ask for, even in today’s society. Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” and Langston Hughes “I,Too” share common features because they both share a similar perspective on America. Both poems explore the idea of what it takes to be American.

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“I Hear America Singing” and “I,Too” have a common perspective, which is America, but “I,Too” has more “struggle” behind its words. The “darker brother” wants to shows that he is a proud American too, but slavery and racism was a thing in that part of history. He forgets that it will take time for them to realize that he is an American also, no matter the color of his skin. The poem altogether refers to slavery, a time in history when we weren’t treated equally based on the color of our skin, even well into the 50’s and 60’s, during the Civil Rights Movement.

In “I,Too”, the poem also connects to racism, which left a big impact on today’s society. The “darker brother” has to go “in the kitchen” because they don’t want him to be seen. HIs “master” sends him away whenever company comes over, and sends them to eat in the kitchen, just because he is not white, which symbolizes that if you were not white back in time during slavery, then you were not equal, or you were not as important. Just because his skin color is not “white”, does not mean that he can’t represent America as proud and loud as them. In contrast to “I,Too”, “I Hear America Singing” uses imagery to symbolizes that every person plays an equal part, no matter the job, they all tie in to being an American.

While “I,Too centers on slavery, “I Hear America Singing” shows unfair rights against women even though its main theme is being equal in America. “I Hear America Singing” focuses on being equal, because this poem specifically has written during a time in history where women were not treated equally as men. During the mid to late 1800’s, women were not given the late rights as men, which meant that women were rarely seen working outside the house. Even though women had unfair rights (voting, getting equal pay, serve on a jury), they still were proud to be apart of America.  

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"I Hear America Singing" And "I, Too". (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved January 23, 2022 , from

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