The analysis of the poem “Ballad of the Landlord” by Langston Hughes shows that the outer composition is simple, with the poem being split into nine stanzas. The inner composition presents a conflict between a black tenant and a white landlord, which concludes with the tenant’s unfair arrest.
The main speaker of the poem is the black tenant who asks the landlord to fix the house he is renting. The white landlord’s words are also presented in the sixth stanza, and the last tree stanzas are narrated without the distinct voice of a speaker.
The setting of the poem is the house that the black tenant occupies. The house has several problems that the landlord refuses to fix, so it becomes the central point of the conflict between the two speakers.
The language reflects the style of the time when the poem was written. The language creates a tense atmosphere and makes readers reflect on the injustice suffered by African Americans in the US.
The poet uses several poetic devices, including repetition, direct address, and rhetorical questions. These poetic devices help the poem by giving it musicality and by highlighting issues such as racial injustice.
You can read a more detailed analysis on the following pages.