Ballad Of The Landlord

| Literal Comprehension

“Ballad Of The Landlord” is a poem by Langston Hughes. There is a leak on the roof of the negro tenant. The landlord has already been told about it. The steps are broken down and the tenant falls down, but the landlord doesn’t.

To repair the house the landlord asks for plus ten bucks that he owes. Even after getting more than that he will not repair it. He’ll get an expulsion order and throw the tenant out.

The tenant claims that is no justice and the landlord can’t throw his belongings out of the house. If the tenant beats him, the tenant will be arrested and imprisoned. In the papers there will be big news with black headlines, “Man threatens landlord, tenant held no bail, the judge gives negro 90 days in country jail”.


| Interpretation

This poem tells the story of the foolishness and insensitivity of the landlord. The landlord of the poem is a representative of the white race and the tenant represents the black community.

The poem advocated that racial discrimination and other inequalities between whites and blacks should be removed. The poem shows that even magazines and laws are not in favor of blacks. In this way, the poem appeals to the rights and freedom of black people.


| Critical Thinking

Though this poem represents the domination, suppression, and exploitation of black people by whites yet some ideas presented in the poem are less convincing.

Are we ready to accept so easily the existence of social injustice in a highly democratic country? Are the police and court so biased? Does the press support the landlord instead of the tenant?


| Assimilation

After reading this poem I realized that people are very conservative. They create a lot of difficulties. The caste feeling has socially degraded the people of a different community.

So, I will not act as the landlord’s behavior but motivate and encourage all the people to practice actual humanity and not be hypocrites.

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Founder and Author at Superb Future. Babu is a student of Business specializing in Sales and Marketing Management. "Everyone is a marketer, whether you are a businessman or a homemaker."


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