Essay about Psychology: Frustration and Child-like Tone

Submitted By deedeerig4
Words: 428
Pages: 2

dThe tone of any work of literature is essentially the speaker's attitude toward the subject or the audience. The tone can also be felt by the reader as a mood. The writer controls the tone through their diction--or word choice--and the phrasing, line breaks and imagery they employ. The tone of a poem can remain consistent throughout, or it can shift as the piece progresses. Examples of words that describe tone are: pessimistic, hopeful, angry, playful, serious, gloomy, lustful, pious One of the tones of the poem "Harlem" is frustration. The poets uses negative words like "fester" and "run", and phrases like "stink like rotten meat" to convey his frustrated tone. At the root of all the questions in the poem is the fact that most African-Americans were living in extreme poverty, oppression, and persecution on a social and institutional level. As a result of this, no matter how intelligent, talented, skilled or capable the citizens of Harlem were in the 1920s, it was highly likely that their talents and dreams would be squashed in the absence of opportunity. To know these circumstances existed for both children and adults was very frustrating, as conveyed in the tone of the poem.

The speaker of the poem conveys a tone of reflection when pondering the fate of the unrealized dreams of Harlem's inhabitants. To reflect on something is to think deeply or carefully about it; here Hughes takes the common problem of social and economic repression in the African-American community in the early- to mid-1900s, and reflects on the consequences of all the squandered ambitions and goals of his