Instead, he identifies himself and the dancer with blackness, and draws a charmed circle around the two of them by virtue of their shared race. She sings a gospel, spiritual or jazz song; McKay, alone among the white folks slumming in Harlem, sees in that the codes of a common history. The poem explicitly codes the dancer female, however, and its rhetoric emphasizes her sexuality and its effect on the audience. The storm she passed through has invested her with a double consciousness, informed not only by her race but also by her gender.
Multiculturalism In Ballet
Where on earth are you getting the idea that the dancer is a prostitute? The poem mentions prostitutes, but it never says that she is one. Sunday, May 8, The Harlem Dancer. The title suggests that the location of this bar is in Harlem, a prevalent area during the Harlem Renaissance. He uses imagery, metaphors, and diction to create a paradoxical setting in which this young prostitute performs. The poem itself is much like a song, for it is written in iambic pentameter. It revolves around the beauty and sound of this prostitutes music, an element depicted in the style and form of the poem. The image he portrays with his choice of diction is one of elegance, an image not normally associated with a dancing prostitute in a bar. With this metaphor, McKay depicts the soulfulness of her voice.
the Harlem Dancer: A line by line analysis
Book: Poems. The poem is about a young girl being a prostitute and the way the crowd views her. In the poem, the author, Claude McKay uses literary devices to further his point to the reader.
This poem follows the form of the traditional Shakespearian sonnet, with a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g. The poem starts quite abruptly, setting up the scene and describing the characters. The following lines describe the subject they are viewing; the Harlem dancer. We can imagine that she is a very good singer and a strong and beautiful dancer. In the final four lines, the audience learns once again that the dancer is being looked at by boys and girls alike. Although the poem does not go into why the Harlem dancer was faking a smile, it makes the poem all the more intriguing. It shows us that people of all walks of life, outwardly happy or not, have secrets too. In class I hope we can follow up on this post and answer your question: why is this Harlem dancer faking a smile? Great post—this should start a productive conversation in class today. Some felt that black people should act respectable in the public eye, lifting themselves up to the standards of white people.