Detailed Analysis of A Black Man Talks of Reaping: Free Essay on the Poem

Published: 2018-05-31 13:39:13
Detailed Analysis of A Black Man Talks of Reaping: Free Essay on the Poem
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Poem Analysis
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 407 words
4 min read

A Black Man Talks of Reaping Analysis: The Work that Matters

It is a well-known fact that poetry is one of the most powerful and impressive ways to depict the atmosphere that predominates in society. No matter if you strive to focus on the positive feelings or emphasize the sorrows, there is probably no better way to succeed with the task rather than through poems. A Black Man Talks of Reaping is not an exception, as it highlights the mood of the community and their attitude towards labor, relationships between people, and some other vital topics.

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If you take your time to read and analyze the poem written by Arna Bontemps, you will get a better acknowledgement of the problems that were relevant for African Americans. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere to feel the combination of emotions, feelings, joys and tribulations of that time.

A Black Man Talks of Reaping happens to be a resentful poem where planting means hard work. The other phrase "reap what you sow" means getting the result of a situation what you put in the same. The speaker has a feeling that because he is an African-American, whatever he has sown will be his reward, and in an equal volume in the form of racial prejudice. The comparison of planting and reaping to the speaker's experience elicits the use of metaphor in the poem. On the contrary, in the poem, From the Dark Tower, the phrase twe shall not always plant while others reapt portrays the fact that African Americans will not be able to grow as holistic individuals if, at all costs, the white people always restrict them. Song of the Son speaks about posterity and slavery in a manner that the writer compares the carnal desires to the actual fate of the plum tree representing a black person.

The dominant image in Song of the Son is the sun itself. The writer alternates son and the sun to represent the high symbolic connection between the actual overhead sun and the return of a prodigal son in the South. The theme of slavery is thus enhanced through such symbolization. In From the Dark Tower, the use of the seed is a symbol of hope for the future. It is the seed that has a greater potential than the bud. However, in A Black Man Talks of Reaping, farming which includes sowing, planting and reaping is a symbol that is intended to elicit racial inequality.

The Song of the Sun is meant to portray hope from slavery by the use of a remembrance kind of a song. However, From the Dark Tower is a poem that illustrates the cost of freedom for the African American people by critically examining the influential force towards slavery, which is the white people. On the contrary, A Black Man Talks of Reaping portrays the fact that no matter the struggles of blacks to attain ultimate freedom, the white people will always be the benefits of the hard work of the black man. The poems, therefore, convey a strong message about slavery of the African Americans by the whites. They highlight several factors that hinder peaceful cohesion and attaining of freedom.

The History Behind the Poem

While the poem is ultimately emotional and impressive for readers, who know the history behind it, others may be confused hearing its details. Generally, the work was created in 1940, the time when African Americans and Caucasians were under the bounds of segregation. The author, Arna Bontemps, was a respected representative of the Harlem Renaissance and could observe the challenges of segregation firsthand.

An impressive poem, A Black Man Talks of Reaping, reveals a precious idea and the truth that numerous people could previously understand. The main statement everyone should remember is that a considerable number of African Americans played a significant role in the establishment and advancement of the country. At the same time, it is sad to admit that they got little compensation for the impressive contribution they have made.

Although the work seems resentful, it features a cheerful mood. It can be easily tracked if you observe the main character and his expressions. There is no regard or any other negativity in his words. Moreover, he does not have a feeling that the work he does is hard and daunting. Instead, he cares for the perspectives for his children, family, and society.

As specified by some people, A Black Man Talks of Reaping is a poem that can be associated with slavery, as the situations are similar. In both instances, people have to work hard, but the reward is ridiculously small. On the other hand, other people frequently equate the old black man with Jesus Christ, who was devoted to His mission and goals but received little respect and gratitude in return.

Generally, the same tendency remains relevant even in modern society, when women and men, Americans and Caucasians, and some other categories of people still compete, striving to show their dominance. Undeniably, the circumstances will repeat many times in the future, and people will keep suffering from challenges and tribulations, but A Black Man Talks of Reaping will always be one of the most impressive works that will help you understand that your problems are nothing, if compared to the tribulations and challenges of others.


Inc, Quizlet.T From the dark tower by Cullen Flashcards. 2017. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

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