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Merry-Go-Round Analysis



Author: poem of Langston Hughes Type: poem Views: 72

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COLORED CHILD AT CARNIVAL



Where is the Jim Crow section

On this merry-go-round,

Mister, cause I want to ride?

Down South where I come from

White and colored

Can't sit side by side.

Down South on the train

There's a Jim Crow car.

On the bus we're put in the back--

But there ain't no back

To a merry-go-round!

Where's the horse

For a kid that's black?






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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I am an art teacher at Brandon Middle School, in Mississippi. My 6th graders analyzed this poem today in class through close reading questions, group discussion, writing, and drawing symbolic images to represent the poem. It turned out pretty cool! They discovered that the circle and movement were reoccurring themes- representing the earth and or life cycle. One kid suggested that the horse represented an escape , from life as a black boy during the early 1960's. It also, with a pole, represented strength and stability. The little boys place in this world. Powerful poem and we love the local color.

| Posted on 2013-11-20 | by a guest


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This black child who comes from “down South” has known racial segregation ever since he was born. He knows that on buses there black people have to sit in the back; likewise, on trains, there are cars reserved for them. Where they have to sit is called the “Jim Crow section”, in reference to the infamous laws forbidding Blacks to mix with Whites in public places.
This black child is now in the North – a new country to him – and would like to ride on a merry-go-round – a new problem. Indeed, as we are made to understand, there is no Jim Crow section on a merry-go-round for the simple reason that it has neither front nor back. The questions he asks the adult – maybe a white man – can therefore receive no satisfactory answers. Yet we are not really interested in the answers, all the more so as there are none given. Only the child’s questions matter here. They are meant to make us realise that racial discrimination is a purely arbitrary process and that its logic is far from impeccable. This particular case – the merry-go-round – blatantly exposes its intrinsic inanity since the circular shape of the carousel prevents any form of segregation.
The black child is therefore confronted to a situation where the old rules no longer apply and is at a loss for what to do. Here again, whether he eventually chooses to ride on the merry-go-round or not is quite irrelevant. The point is that he is offered an option he was never allowed to contemplate hitherto. Paradoxically, the world has opened up in the form of a closed circle. But this figure of a circle is first and foremost a metaphor for a perfect – or at least, better – world, freed of all its man-made divisions and therefore returned to its primeval innocence, where anybody can live free regardless of the colour of their skin.
jpf

| Posted on 2010-06-01 | by a guest


.: :.

This black child who comes from “down South” has known racial segregation ever since he was born. He knows that on buses there black people have to sit in the back; likewise, on trains, there are cars reserved for them. Where they have to sit is called the “Jim Crow section”, in reference to the infamous laws forbidding Blacks to mix with Whites in public places.
This black child is now in the North – a new country to him – and would like to ride on a merry-go-round – a new problem. Indeed, as we are made to understand, there is no Jim Crow section on a merry-go-round for the simple reason that it has neither front nor back. The questions he asks the adult – maybe a white man – can therefore receive no satisfactory answers. Yet we are not really interested in the answers, all the more so as there are none given. Only the child’s questions matter here. They are meant to make us realise that racial discrimination is a purely arbitrary process and that its logic is far from impeccable. This particular case – the merry-go-round – blatantly exposes its intrinsic inanity since the circular shape of the carousel prevents any form of segregation.
The black child is therefore confronted to a situation where the old rules no longer apply and is at a loss for what to do. Here again, whether he eventually chooses to ride on the merry-go-round or not is quite irrelevant. The point is that he is offered an option he was never allowed to contemplate hitherto. Paradoxically, the world has opened up in the form of a closed circle. But this figure of a circle is first and foremost a metaphor for a perfect – or at least, better – world, freed of all its man-made divisions and therefore returned to its primeval innocence, where anybody can live free regardless of the colour of their skin.
jpf

| Posted on 2010-06-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Your momma ot stuck. she looked at the mall, she gis so fat, when

| Posted on 2009-03-31 | by a guest


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He created this poem because of the effect Jim Crow had on him as a child. When he was 14 his 7th grade teacher moved him, along with all the other black students to the back of the class, he got extremely angry. Supposedly Jim Crow kept whites and blacks apart. So Hughes put cards that read "JIM CROW ROW" on the black kids' desks. He felt like it was the right thing to do; his grandmother had raised him to stand up for freedom. But the teacher became furious, and Hughes was expelled. When parents started protesting, his expulsion was called off and he returned to school. After that segregation in the school was no longer an issue. When he was older he published poetry, fiction, newspaper articles, essays, plays, song lyrics and even a movie script clipping Jim Crow. (Boys Life 1) He believed Jim Crow was to blame for all the segregation and racism he went through. “Colored Child At Carnival” was a piece inspired by Jim Crow.

| Posted on 2008-05-12 | by a guest




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