The Blues I'm Playing Criticism

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The Ways of White Folks and "The Blues I'm Playing" established Hughes's reputation as a short story writer on its publication. He was already known as a poet, having gained celebrity with several publications in the 1920s, during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, a movement fostered by black artists and intellectuals. His short fiction, like the poems that preceded it, were-in context- daring and controversial. While many readers acclaimed his work for its beauty and directness, others-many of them leading black intellectuals of the day-complained that he put on display the "lowest" and most stereotypical aspects of black life. Some of these readers, like Mrs. Ellsworth in "The Blues I'm Playing", considered art something that should rise above race and everyday life-a view that Hughes attacks in his story. But Hughes saw himself as presenting the beauty inherent in the lives of black Americans.

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This section contains 596 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Blues I'm Playing Study Guide
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The Blues I'm Playing from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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