Blog # 6:
Being an outcast and being looked down upon because of one’s ethnicity or race are the two major themes which are portrayed in “Theme for English B”, “Queens, 1963”, “Fork”, and “This morning (for the girls of eastern high school)”. Not being accepted because on ones color is something which many minorities including African Americans had to deal with after coming to the United States. Another hardship endured was being an outcast, which is not being included in regular day activities or simply being thought of as lost in the world.
In the poem by Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B”, the narrator, a twenty-two year old student is given a writing assignment for his English class and feels that no matter how well it is done, since he is the only black person in the class it will not be good enough. The student also feels that no matter how well his paper is written it will still be written from a minority in the class and therefore the student feels as if everyone including the teacher is racist. An example of this is shown in lines 25 and 26: “I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like the same things other folks like who are other races.” Similarly, in Julia Alvarez’s poem, “Queens, 1963”, the narrator talks about the hardships of coming to the United States and being placed in a diverse neighborhood, but still have to deal with racism with the coming of a new family to the neighborhood; African Americans. The racism portrayed in this poem like in “Theme for English B”, describe how horrible racism really was even in America during this time period.
In Jeffrey Harrison’s poem, “Fork”, and in Lucille Clifton’s poem, “this morning (for the girls of eastern high school), we can see from the narrator’s point of view that being an outcast in the United States as well as being a minority was a very hard fact to overcome. In Lucille’s poem the narrator is compared with the jungle meaning that she was maybe not the best looking girl along with being tall as a jungle tree and having to deal with survival, being black. In Harrison’s poem, “Fork”, the narrator believes that he can succeed, but because he doesn’t receive the normal attention that any teacher should give to their students, he feels as if he is an outcast in the class. To overcome his problem, the narrator feels that in order to succeed he has to keep his fork which represent the many changes currently occurring in order to overcome his challenges.
Thus, in “Theme for English B”, “Queens, 1963”, “Fork”, and “this morning (for the girls of eastern high school), the issues of racism and being an outcast in a new country are portrayed. These are problems which still occur to this very day; however, if we use our Jesuit values incorporated in our lives, these problems can be avoided and every person therefore would be accepted for who they are as God created them.