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Word Count: 1,205
The theme of oppression is very evident in many African-American literary works This topic is found so often in African-American literature because it is a subject that almost all African-Americans live with everyday for their entire lives In the following works the theme that is focused on is oppression only makes a person stronger this theme seems too obvious in both cases In Claude McKays poem America he seems to focus on this issue of being oppressed by his country but still has a love for the country at the same time This theme is also evident in Countee Cullens poem Yet Do I Marvel It talks about how God does so many things to people that put them in hard situations and even though these hardships are apparent they only make the recipient of them stronger I feel that both of these poems are meant to show that everyone has hard times and if you fight hard enough you will get through them and if they do not kill you they only make you stronger The poem America by Claude McKay uses an oxymoron right in the first line of the poem to show how the person feels about the country Although she feeds me the bread of bitterness McKay 985 shows the reader that even though the country is feeding the person bread of bitterness they are still feeding them This shows right from the start the lovehate relationship that the person has for America The next three lines all go together And sinks into my throat her tigers tooth Stealing my breath of life I will confess I love this culture that tests my youth McKay 985 These three sentences really show exactly what the purpose of this poem is meant to be It shows the country as a tiger that has this person by the neck and is stealing its breath away or trying to kill
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