Speakers

Innholdsfortegnelse

The poem “Ballad of the Landlord” by Langston Hughes has different speakers.

The tenant

The main speaker of the poem is the black tenant, who politely reports some problems with the house:

Landlord, landlord,

My roof has sprung a leak.

Don’t you ’member I told you about it

Way last week? (ll. 1-4)

It is worth noting that the tenant’s African-American identity is only revealed at the end when the newspaper headline mentions that he is a “negro” (l. 33). 

In the beginning, the tenant is calm and offers some suggestions regarding the improvement of his living conditions. However, the tenant’s words include a hint of irony when he suggests that the landlord is unbothered by the condition of the house, like in the following example:

Landlord, landlord,

These steps is broken down...

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