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English Poetry 2 RACIAL DISCRIMINATION REFLECTED IN KU KLUX BY LANGSTON HUGHES a presentation by Megalistha Pratiwi Irene Heni Atikah Rahmawati Clara Ariski

English Poetry Analysis

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Page 1: English Poetry Analysis

Engl ish Poetry 2


a presentat ionby

Megalistha Prat iwiIrene Heni

At ikah RahmawatiClara Ar isk i

Page 2: English Poetry Analysis


Makalah ini merupakan analisis diskriminasi ras yang terkandungdalam Ku Klux karya Langston Hughes. Fokus pembahasan dalammakalah ini ialah pencitraan, eufinisme, ironi, dan pemaparan tentangdiskriminasi ras. Metode yang digunakan adalah tekstual dan closereading. Melalui analisis unsur-unsur intrinsik dalam makalah ini,pembaca dapat memahami diskriminasi ras yang terdapat dalam puisiKu Klux.Kata kunci: eufinisme, ironi, pencitraan, diskriminasi ras, Ku Klux

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Poetry is a literary work that conveys meaning

beyond the words and can be understood with sense

of feeling. While in poetry analysis, we will find out

the poet's intention in writing the poem in critical

way. The writer uses the poem Ku Klux by Langston

Hughes to be analyzed. The poem mainly contains

imagery, euphemism and irony.


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To analyze the use of imagery in the poem.

To analyze the use of euphemism in the


To analyze the use of irony in the poem.

To analyze race discrimination in the poem.

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T h e s c o p e o f t h i s s t u d y i s t o a n a l y z et h e i n t r i n s i c e l e m e n t s i n K u K l u x b yL a n g t o n H u g h e s w h i c h a r e i m a g e r y ,e u p h e m i s m , a n d i r o n y . T h e t y p e s o fi m a g e r y a r e a u d i t o r y k i n e s t h e t h i c a n dv i s u a l . F o r t h e e x t r i n s i c e l e m e n t s ,t h e w r i t e r w i l l a n a l y z e d i s c r i m i n a t i o no f r a c e i n t h i s p o e m .


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Born in Joplin, Missouri, in


His first published well-

known poem called "The

Negro Speaks of Rivers"

Received the First Prize for

Poetry of the magazine

Opportunity, Guggenheim

Fellowship, a Rosenwald


Died in 1967.


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KU KLUX- They took me outTo some lonesome place.They said, "Do you believeIn the great white race?"I said, "Mister,To tell you the truth,I'd believe in anythingIf you'd just turn me loose."

The white man said, "Boy,Can it beYou're a-standin' thereA-sassin' me?"

They hit me in the headAnd knocked me down.And then they kicked meOn the ground.

A klansman said, "Nigger,Look me in the face ---And tell me you believe inThe great white race."

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L I T E R A R Y R E V I E W : I n t r i n s i c E l e m e n t


Use particular words to create sensations that can be received by

senses.There are 7 types of imagery: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory,

tactile, organic and kinesthetic. From seven imageries that are mentioned

above, the writer will only discuss three kinds of imagery. Kinesthethic

imagery describe sense of movement or tension. Visual imagery describe

thing that can be seen by our sense of sight. Auditory imagery is a sound

made from an action and percieved through sense of hearing.


Euphenism is a figure of speech in which use indirect statement to avoid



Irony is a figure of speech that express the opposite meaning of the actual


Page 9: English Poetry Analysis

L I T E R A R Y R E V I E W : E x t r i n s i c E l e m e n t


Definition : Discrimination, which consists of treating people

differently from others based primarily on membership in a social


Divided into interpersonal, organizational, and cultural

discrimination. Racial discrimination comes from cultural


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Definition : Ku Klux Klan is a secretorganization in the United States,

especially associated with the south.The original clan was formed to

maintain white supremacy in theSouth after the Civil War

Brief explanation :It was initiated in order to resist

political and economic equality forblacks. Their activity includes

kidnapping, torturing, lynching, andkilling colored people flourished in

the South where blacks wereminority.


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V i s u a l I m a g e r yT o s o m e l o n e s o m e p l a c e .T h e y s a i d , " D o y o u b e l i e v eI n t h e g r e a t w h i t e r a c e ? " ( l i n e 2 - 4 , f i r s t s t a n z a )

K i n e s t h e t i c I m a g e r yT h e y t o o k m e o u t ( l i n e 1 , f i r s t s t a n z a )T h e y h i t m e i n t h e h e a dA n d k n o c k e d m e d o w n .A n d t h e n t h e y k i c k e d m e ( l i n e 1 - 3 , t h i r d s t a n z a )

A u d i t o r y I m a g e r yT h e y s a i d , " D o y o u b e l i e v eI n t h e g r e a t w h i t e r a c e ? " ( l i n e 3 - 4 , f i r s t s t a n z a )

DISCUSSIONIntrinsic Element

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E u p h e n i s mT h e y h i t m e i n t h e h e a dA n d k n o c k e d m e d o w n .A n d t h e n t h e y k i c k e d m eO n t h e g r o u n d . ( l i n e 1 - 4 , t h i r d s t a n z a )

I r o n yI s a i d , " M i s t e r ,T o t e l l y o u t h e t r u t h ,I ' d b e l i e v e i n a n y t h i n gI f y o u ' d j u s t t u r n m e l o o s e . " ( l i n e 5 - 8 ,f i r s t s t a n z a )

DISCUSSIONIntrinsic Element

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DISCUSSION Extrinsic Element

Oppression from Ku Klux Klan

In this poem, the character that mentioned were “Klansman” and

“Nigger”. “Klansman” , as the subject of oppresion, indicates the member

of Ku Klux Klan. “Nigger”, as the object of oppresion, is a nickname to

derogate black people. The klansman feel that his race is superior than

the nigger because he refers himself as “great white race”. From this

indication it can be concluded that this poem contains racial

discrimination against black people by Ku Klux Klan.

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“Do you believe in the great white race” indicates the oppression towards

the object to believe their greatness. Irony which existed in this poem

expressed in the usage of “Mister” from the nigger to call the klansman.

In the last line of first stanza, the nigger said:

“Mister, To tell you the truth,

I'd believe in anything

If you'd just turn me loose."

Second stanza has connection with that statement whereas the white

man respond and he realize that the nigger is mocking at him.


Can it be You're a-standin' there

A-sassin' me?"

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Euphenism in third stanza shows the abusing process in this poem

seemed light. It is only mentioned as “hit”, “knock”, and “kick”. It does not

correspond with the fact that their oppression was much severe and

sometimes led to murder.

While in fourth stanza, “Do you believe in the great white race” becomes a

coercion after the abuse.

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From the analysis of Ku Klux, it can be concluded racial

discrimination from Ku Klux Klan is easier to understand by the

reader through intrinsic and extrinsic elements. The reader can

also understand the victim’s emotion and experience in the

imagery, fight that reflected in the irony, and physical abuse in the

euphenism. Each element describe the situation and tension in a

racial oppression, therefore the reader can feel empathy toward

coloured people.