James Weldon Johnson | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 19 pages of analysis & critique of James Weldon Johnson.
This section contains 5,512 words
(approx. 19 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jean Wagner

SOURCE: "James Weldon Johnson," in Black Poets of the United States: From Paul Laurence Dunbar to Langston Hughes, University of Illinois Press, 1973, pp. 351-84.

In the following excerpt, Wagner explores the conventionality of Johnson 's early verse and describes the poet's ambivalence toward agnosticism and dialect poetry.

Religious and Patriotic Conformism

Since the avowal made in his autobiography five years before his death, we know that all Johnson's religious poetry came from the pen of an unbeliever.29

Under the influence of his maternal grandmother, who would have liked to see him become a minister, from the age of nine he had been forced into religious observances, inappropriate for a child, in the Methodist church which she attended. When she wanted him to be accepted as a full-fledged member, an argument broke out between her and her son-in-law; this aroused anxiety in the child. With it was blended his...

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This section contains 5,512 words
(approx. 19 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jean Wagner
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Critical Essay by Jean Wagner from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.