Langston Hughes Writing Styles in Slave on the Block

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Hughes tells the story of Luther's interactions with the Carraways by using a third-person narrator, meaning that the events in "Slave on the Block" are described from the position of an outside observer. This third-person narrator is omniscient, having access to the characters' private thoughts. For example, the narrator is in a position to report, "They didn't understand the vagaries of white folks, neither Luther nor Mattie, and they didn't want to be bothered trying." Most often however, third-person narration assumes an objective presentation of facts and events. For example, the narrator does not comment on the fact that the Carraways considered Luther "so charming and naive to ask right away for what he wanted" when he comes to them looking for work, but instead presents the information in a straightforward and neutral manner. However, Hughes does not intend for this information to evoke a neutral response, for he has...

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This section contains 809 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.