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Beale Street Love

Beale Street Love

by Langston Hughes

Beale Street Love Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Do you think anyone is actually being hit in this poem? Why or why not?
  2. What do you think Clorinda means when she says "Hit me again"? Is she being sarcastic? Is she issuing a threat? A dare? Or is this command a sad reflection of the fact that Clorinda might be so abused that she has been emotionally manipulated into asking for more?
  3. Who do you think is the speaker of the poem? Is he a bystander? Could he be the man with the fist? Or even Clorinda?
  4. How would the poem be different without the title? Would you read it more or less metaphorically?
  5. What do you think Hughes might be saying about love? Violence?
  6. Do you think this poem is really talking about love? Or about something else entirely?
  7. What does this poem tell us about life on Beale Street?
  8. If you could write a metaphor for love, what would it be?

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