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In this poem, "I" is used to connote weakness, and isolation.
send me to eat in the kitchen," reinforcing the one-versus-all mentality that Hughes is trying to convey in this poem (3).
"We" and "they," give a stronger, more united connotation than "I" does.
Unlike the first poem, "I" is used here to connote strength and singularity.
The speaker, an African-American student given an English writing assignment, engages his teacher in an intelligent, even pointed dialog.
Additionally, the depiction of action is different in the two poems.
In The Indian to his Love, Yeats makes no attempt to suggest action beyond the most static activity: And wander ever with woven hands,/ Murmuring softly lip to lip. There are no winds, no storms, and no passions on Yeats island, only tranquility.
Although these poems both make use of first-person voices, they each make use of voice to different ends.
Nonetheless, both poems draw attention to the plight of the African-American people, albeit in different manners.
However, this is not the only way that Hughes uses "I" in his poetry.
On the other hand, Hughes' poem "Theme for English B," uses the first-person voice for an entirely different effect. The poem is written like a narrative: "I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem" (7).