Slave on the Block Essay

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Bone is an American critic and educator who specializes in African-American literature as well as Shakespeare. In the excerpt below, he gives an analysis of Hughes's short fiction.

Pastoral, whose source is disillusionment with courtly life, contains within itself the seeds of satire. The higher the degree of alienation from the life-style of courtiers and kings, the greater the tendency toward satire. Langston Hughes is essentially a satirist, at least in the short-story form. His first book of stories, The Ways of White Folks, might well have been subtitled "In Dispraise of Courtly Life." The pride and pretentiousness, arrogance and hypocrisy, boorishness and inhumanity of white folks are the targets of his caustic prose. The genius of Langston Hughes, which is a gift for comedy and satire, is thus displayed within the broad outlines of the pastoral tradition.

Within the context of its times, however, The Ways of...

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This section contains 1,176 words
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Slave on the Block from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.