In Langston Hughes’s “I, Too” poem, what is the significance of eating in the kitchen?

A

The kitchen historically was an isolated place meant for messy work done by servants in the preparation of food and cleaning after that. Masters of the house were rarely present in the kitchen. In the poem, the narrator is said to be sent away to the kitchen when guests arrived, creating the sense that he was shameful and undesired. However, Hughes creates irony because there, one can “eat well and grow strong.” It is a metaphor for planning and pursuit of the African American community to a place at the “table” or equality. By sending the narrator away, an effective metaphor for segregation, the master instead empowers him in his struggle.

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Academic.Tips. 2021. "In Langston Hughes’s “I, Too” poem, what is the significance of eating in the kitchen?" June 16, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/in-langston-hughess-i-too-poem-what-is-the-significance-of-eating-in-the-kitchen/.

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Academic.Tips. "In Langston Hughes’s “I, Too” poem, what is the significance of eating in the kitchen?" June 16, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/in-langston-hughess-i-too-poem-what-is-the-significance-of-eating-in-the-kitchen/.

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"In Langston Hughes’s “I, Too” poem, what is the significance of eating in the kitchen?" Academic.Tips, 16 June 2021, academic.tips/question/in-langston-hughess-i-too-poem-what-is-the-significance-of-eating-in-the-kitchen/.

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