Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school., Analyze the form and poetic elements used in "If We Must Die.". The violence included fighting and rioting that led to many black families losing their homes and multiple deaths. This ability to gain advancement is what strongly intrigues... StudyMode - Premium and Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Essay. As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 first two years of college and save thousands off your degree.

succeed. starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics. Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot," establishes an animal theme, which Mckay uses throughout the rest of the poem. A battle scene is easily pictured, with two groups facing each other. makes that call to participation explicit; the poem's would-be warriors are men. As metioned in our book "Film"(page:265) :"Charles Foster Kane has two major goals in his life...He fails to attain that goal, too.". What was Claude McKay's purpose for writing the poem "If We Must Die"? “If we must die, let it not be like hogs hunted and penned in an inglorious spot while round us bark the mad and hungry dogs” (1-3).

These first four lines establish the basic premise of the poem: the speaker and his allies are under attack and are going to die, and the force opposing them is … Quiz & Worksheet - If We Must Die By McKay, Over 79,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Poems with ABAB Rhyme Scheme: Examples & Definition, What Is Free Verse Poetry? Three key changes Macbeth undergoes are: state of mind changes, moral changes and his use of violence. Poetry– Claude McKay "If We Must Die" One of the most influential writers of the Harlem Renaissance was Jamaican born Claude McKay, who was a political activist, a novelist, an essayist and a poet. courses that prepare you to earn His 1922 book of poems, Harlem Shadows, Barros acknowledged that this poem was said by many to have inaugurated the Harlem Renaissance. The speaker tells his people not to go easily, but rather fight as long as possible and don’t ever give up before they are killed. This is in contrast to some African-American leaders, such as Booker T. Washington, who believed that good hearted white people would help the black people and that the blacks should accept their help. I am especially having trouble with the meaning of the line, "What though before us lies the open grave?".

we must meet the common foe!Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!What though before us lies the open grave?Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back! ...Term Papers Knowing that this would lead to death, the speaker tells those with him that their deaths will be noble, and that they must be men and face those cowards taunting and fighting them. Finally, there is the theme of violence in society. The book that included such revolutionary poetry is Harlem Shadows.

An error occurred trying to load this video. The next four lines draw on the emotions of the allies to die honorably. Katie has a Master's degree in English and has taught college level classes for ten years. The speaker reaches out to the audience with intent to inspire them to action. The title, “If We Must Die” is … The speaker says that his race will either die fighting, or die trying. In vain; then even the monsters we defy. Services. Please join StudyMode to read the full document. As the theme “Rebels must die”, or in other words taking down those who stand in the way; develop throughout the play, Macbeths’ character undergoes significant changes. However, even without the history behind it, Mckay's poem is still a powerful message, universal enough to relate to any person facing their own destruction. The speaker uses the image of the open grave to signify that this battle will be to the end, but that should not deter the brave warriors from their noble struggle. Unlike other writers in the Harlem Renaissance movement, McKay often writes with rage and a call to action. ‘If We Must Die’ by Claude McKay is a fourteen-line Shakespearean sonnet that is structured in the form which has come to be synonymous with the poet’s name. The poem “If We Must Die, by Claude McKay” is about a certain group of people who are hated and hunted by another group of others. McKay says this to elaborate further on his simile and describe why the black community cannot die as hogs. The simile is found in the first line of the poem when McKay states, “If we must die, let it not be like hogs.” Here, McKay is telling the reader that they cannot stand to be hogs anymore. This traditional Shakespearean sonnet by Claude McKay, an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance, is a spirited battle cry. Line 12 asks, "What though before us lies an open grave?" He is also strong, clever, and a man of the people. I would paraphrase it as follows:  What? Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers.

Claude McKay spans national boundaries, literary genres (poems, essays, novels, memoirs, etc. Visit the Common Core ELA Grade 7 - Literature: Standards page to learn more. The Characters: These writers focused on the struggles of African Americans in the United States, particularly prejudices that they encountered. Lines 5–8 state that dying nobly means that one's blood isn't wasted; even the opponents will have to acknowledge the bravery of those they defeated. McKay didn't fight in WWI, and his personal battles were primarily in the political and civil rights realm. “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay, we must fight!! Can't find it here? The subject matter that McKay writes about is confrontational. Lines 9 through 12 contain the speaker's rallying cry to his allies. When we hear the word “rebel” we often associate it with people who are considered “outsiders” or “different” when in fact a rebel is just anyone who stands up for what they believe in, or what they do. The poem begins with the speaker establishing that he and his allies are under attack. He discusses the feelings of pride he has as an African American, but also the alienation that he experiences because of his race. December 2nd, 2013 Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back! The three most violent episodes occurred in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Elaine, Arkansas. The simile clearly sets the tone for what McKay wants to accomplish through his poem, “If We Must... ...Charles Bailey Try There was still much discrimination put against them; something that this poem happens to exhibit. Select a subject to preview related courses: Finally, the speaker reminds his allies that though they are 'far outnumbered,' they must be brave; that this will be the 'deathblow.' If we must die, let it not be like hogs. Line 9 addresses the speaker's "kinsmen." credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursèd lot. Being corned by hungry dogs should not put fear into their souls, but rather entice them to fight back even more. Create your account. When you finish the lesson, you should have the ability to: To unlock this lesson you must be a Member. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser.

{{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons A battle scene can easily be pictured, visualizing two groups facing each other. Although in McKay's arsenal he possessed powerful poems. It has fourteen lines in iambic pentameter with the same “ababcdcdefef gg” alternating rhyme scheme ending with a couplet.

McKay uses the hog simile in the first line of his poem to inspire his readers to change the status quo of blacks being hogs.

Arthur P. Davis had this to say regarding the hog simile, “these lines present the hog as a trope for unreflecting acceptance of the status quo” (Heglar). There are a total six stanzas varying from a single line to four. He is urging his allies to not become weak, comparing them to "hogs hunted and penned in an inglorious spot", but to fight against those attacking them, those that are "making their mock at our accursed lot". The title, “If We Must Die” is exactly what the poem… The kingdom of Eleusis had had a long standing tradition of having the king of the previous year killed in single combat; and having the victor claim the throne, all in honor of the patron goddess. One of the first significant acts of his, is when he changed the means of choosing the new King of Eleusis. During this summer, there was a rise in hate crime, race riots, and overall violence towards the black community. What poetic devices are used in the poem. There is the strongest message of fighting back and dying with dignity among the battles. “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay appears to be Shakespearian sonnet. ‘If We Must Die’ by Claude McKay is a fourteen-line Shakespearean sonnet that is structured in the form which has come to be synonymous with the poet’s name. This rhetorical question is another way of saying what the author has already said twice: "If we must die." - Examples & Definition, Petrarchan Sonnet: Rhyme Scheme, Format & Example Poems, How the Structure of a Poem or Drama Contributes to Meaning, Design by Robert Frost: Summary, Theme & Analysis, Song of Myself by Walt Whitman: Summary, Themes & Analysis, Common Core ELA Grade 7 - Literature: Standards, Biological and Biomedical By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Shmoop and verify that you are over the age of 13. Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursèd lot. In the first sentence, “If we must die, let it not be like hogs...” the speaker is comparing their... ...power. I believe that the poet has made this poem to speak to his fellow African-Americans, who are being mistreated by the white slave owners. You want us to fight? ", © 2020 Shmoop University Inc | All Rights Reserved | Privacy | Legal. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. Mckay's writing introduced themes from his experiences in Jamaica and the United States. If We Must Die Summary. Already registered? He was loyal to King Duncan. In the play it is clear from the beginning that the character Macbeth has deep desires for power and advancement, to become king.