Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, the author of “I, Too, Sing America”, structures the stanzas in chronological order to develop the theme of the poem. Hughes describes the current events by introducing “I, too, sing America” (line 1). He then adds, “I am… /They send me to eat in the kitchen,/and grow strong” (line 2-8). The use of present tense in the first two stanzas clearly demonstrate the present time. It suggests that during the speaker’s era, not many people of color were able to achieve their American Dreams yet and that they had to be determined and patient in order to be successful. Furthermore, the author predicts his dream for the future when he states, “Tomorrow,/ I’ll be at the table,/Nobody’ll dare… /Then” (line 9-15). Notably, Hughes describes this by putting verbs in future, meaning that the American Dream of people of color “will” be achieved someday. It is very important to introduce the present events before the future events because the speaker does not want to confuse the audience. In other words, he has built up the tension of what would happen next instead of just saying that everything is perfect. The effect could leave the audience to feel relieved and their intention on the difficulties African American had faced would not be great. Thus, Langston Hughes has thoroughly described the theme of the poem by shaping the stanzas in chronological order.