Langston Hughes in these two poems demonstrates the racial discrimination that existed for so long in the United States in which African-Americans were regarded as inferior. “Red Silk Stockings” and “Dinner Guest: Me” both gives us an insight on two totally different situations yet each of them portrays the subordinate status that African-Americans suffered by the whites. In the lines of “Red Silk Stockings” we will find a setting where low class African-Americans have accepted the fact that whites use the beauty of the black woman for their entertainment.
Not only was there reception of this mistreatment but African-American males took advantage of the situation for their own personal gain. In an almost sarcastic and resigned tone the story is told as a total acceptance of this kind of treatment.
It is almost as if these women should feel flattered that the white man wants them even if only for entertainment purposes. The worst part is that not only have the African-Americans accepted this because they have no way of fighting it but the white society also accepts this kind of treatment.
On the other hand, in “Dinner Guest: Me” the poet presents a different setting in which the white society feels somewhat ashamed for the way they have treated African-Americans. Supposedly the whites are looking for a solution to “the problem”. The sarcastic part of it all is that people, the blacks are seen as a problem rather than just what they are: people; people that need to be embraced and treated equally. People with feelings and desires just like everyone else.
They are not freaks nor are they inferior but they are considered “a problem”. Sarcastically enough, not only are whites incapable of perceiving that to think of African-Americans as a problem is wrong, they believe they are doing something good. The perceive themselves as good people trying to amend things. They even feel somewhat guilty about the way society has played out the roles of each race but not guilty enough to change their way of life.
Both poems illustrate the subordinate status in which people lived because of their skin color, the lack of opportunities for the African-Americans and the exploitation they had to endure at the hands of the whites. Although each of them used a different setting and tone, reality is that they are very similar because blacks were regarded as inferior and were never given their inalienable rights. That is the sad reality that clouds our history.
Cite this Comparison of Red Silk Stockings and Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes
Comparison of Red Silk Stockings and Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/comparison-of-red-silk-stockings-and-dinner-guest-me-by-langston-hughes/