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Paradox of Social Injustice

Q What paradox of social injustice is presented in these lines from Countee Cullen’s “From the Dark Tower”? We shall not always plant while others reap The golden increment of bursting fruit, Not always countenance, abject and mute That lesser men should hold their brothers cheap; The hearing and speaking impaired are routinely victimized by others in American society. Those who today enjoy power and prosperity may one day become subordinate to those they deem inferior. The natural system of justice is unbiased, and all people are given equal opportunity to grow and flourish. Those who enforce racial segregation are typically isolated groups in society.

Answer :

The answer is- those who today enjoy power and prosperity may one day become subordinate to those they deem inferior. The poem talks about the practice of slavery, racial discrimination and the hardships faced by Black Americans when slavery was practiced.

Here Cullen describes the pain and anger that is being felt by loads of people. He here points out that the practice of treating people inferior and reaping the fruits of their hard work (we shall not always plant while others reap) has been happening for a long time, which is unfair by all means.  He also adds that if the ‘other’ people are stronger than you, then you have to live with it as you do not possess the power and authority to stop it (So in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds, and wait, and tend our agonizing seeds). ‘We’ in this poem refers to black Americans and others refer to white Americans.  Culled describes that there might come a day when those people who were considered as inferior will gain authority and will lead the ‘other’ people.

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