Task: Class correction of texual analysis
The poem has got an inclusive title signalled by the expression "I, too".
The poem is written in free verse because it doesn't follow a precise scheme but, considering the layout, the reader can understand the poem is arranged in two sequences having a specific function in the economy of the text. They refer to different moments in the life of the speaking voice who expresses his/her point of view in a lyrical tone underlined by the subject pronoun "I". As a matter of fact all that the reader knows is filtered by his voice.
America is the context within which the narrator's experience is lived. He sings America even if he is considered "The darker brother". He is living the sad experience of seclusion since he is sent to eat into the kitchen when people arrive in the family he is working for. But he doesn't seem resigned, on the contrary, he loves to eat to grow strong.
The second sequence in the poem expresses the man's expectations for the future. He feels sure there will be a moment when nobody will have the courage to send him to eat in the kitchen, when people will come vice versa he will sit at the same table and the people who once sent him away will be ashamed of their previous behaviour because he will belong to America too.
From the denotative analysis carried out so far, it is easy to understand the poem discusses the problem of racialism from the point of view of a proud marginalized individual.
From the point of view of sound what matters to be analyzed is the use of long vowels sound that contribute to reflection. Also the opening and the ending of the poem seem to create a circle giving the poem a refrain that includes all of the darker brother existence from present to future.
The alliteration "company comes" present in both sections of the poem provides the context for that experience. At present seclusion is visible when "Company comes" and in the same way "When company comes" (line three, section two) give the darker brother occasion to state he is an important person, belonging to America as well.
The idea of the transformation of this condition is conveyed and communicated on the semantic level, the poet chooses very simple words, most of them monosyllabic, and ordinary language, so that everybody may understand. If you consider the use of verb tenses that move from present to future, syntax is also very simple.
Punctuation contributes to slow the reading of the lines creating the occasion to stop and think. There is also the use of direct speech in the second part of poem which has the function of a sort of echo effect as if the reader could hear himself/herself the words with which the darker brother was sent away from the company. There is also a shift from action to reflection from the first to the second part of the poem.
As a matter of fact the first part mainly consists of action verbs "It comes, laughs, it grows", while the second part of the poem privileges perception and verbs expressing feelings ("I will be, I'll dare, they see, I'm, be ashamed") to end in the epigrammatic conclusion "I, too, am American".
The expression "too" captures the attention of the reader right from the title creating curiosity in the reader's mind. It especially refers to the darker brother's wish to be treated and to feel like any other American person.