In these two poems, Whitman and Hughes present parallel views of the American experience.
Whitman’s poem is joyous and celebratory; Hughes’ poem is more skeptical, but it is not without hope.
This handout of thorough and precise questions is ready to go with minimal prep on your part.
Questions encourage close reading, analysis of poetic elements, as well as deeper thinking and discussion about the themes and big ideas of the poem.
There are also prompts for in-class writing as well as for longer assessment.
These poems could be used with many texts that deal with the American Dream, race, power, or class.
Suggestions include: or Of Mice and Men.