Langston Hughes Landlord

Words: 1345
Pages: 6

Racial Tensions and Overtones: Analysis of “Ballad of the Landlord” by Langston Hughes Hughes’s “ Ballad of the Landlord”, immediately transports the reader to the 1930s,an era when African- Americans received many racial injustices and mistreatment from white people. A new critical reading of Hughes’s “Ballad of the Landlord” points to a time in history where your color defines who you are and no matter how hard you work you will never be more the a negro. With that, Hughes was able to use the colloquial language of the people and express the feelings of social injustice against blacks.
The poem starts with the speaker saying “Landlord, landlord, My roof has sprung a leak” (1,2). I can infer that the speaker is a black man and the landlord, a white man has already been informed about the leak and will most likely not doing anything to change its condition. In the next two lines Hughes uses the colloquial language of the community to express his ideas and the emotions of the tenant. “Don't you 'member I told you about it, Way last week?” ( 3,4) This landlord is mistreating the black tenant and his home. He is trying to exploit the tenant not only because he is cheap, but he is also black. The landlord probably thinks the “negro” should be lucky to have a place to lay his head.
Not only is the landlord mistreating his
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He gives the speaker a voice of protest and encourages the tenant to fight against the landlord. “Well, that's Ten Bucks more'n I'll pay you Till you fix this house up new” (9,10). The landlord in this poem only collects the rent, but he never makes any true efforts to repair the house. Hughes changes the length of the lines from long to short to indicate the change of mood in the speaker. In these lines the speaker is starting to feel slighted and just wants his house repaired. However, he is met with so much opposition from landlord and white