The poem Theme for English B written by James Langston Hughes, the well-known African American poet, can be regarded as a reflection of the author’s major themes and concerns. It is known that James Langston Hughes was one of those poets who struggled for equality in American society; that is why the major themes in his numerous poems are focused on the struggle against segregation and injustice.
In the poem Theme for English B, James Langston Hughes uses many effective literary techniques which are combined with the author’s emotional appeal. The main character of the poem is an African American student who has got a task ”“ “to write a page tonight”ť for English B which should “come out”ť of him and should be true. As this student is the only colored student in the class, he is worried about his instructor’s general ideas concerning this paper. He says, “I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like the same things other folks like who are races”ť (Hughes 30-32). The young man tries to struggle for equality in his own way. The main idea of the poem is to prove the fact that the color of skin is just a color and that everyone in this world is equal and has similar needs, desires and dreams. He says in the poem:
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me-
although you’re older-and white-
and somewhat more free. (Hughes 44-47).
This theme is discussed in most of Hughes’s poems. Another common theme for Hughes is Harlem, which is also mentioned in the poem. The poet wants to tell more about human nature and interpersonal relationships in American society. He wants all people to have equal relation to each other.