OBJECTIVE: To have students recognize the personal vision of the author.
MATERIAL: Homework reading.
Step 1: Remind students Hughes said in his foreword that Simple evolved as a character who wondered and laughed at the numerous problems of white folks, colored folks, and just folks.
Does Hughes live up to this statement? Have students cite the anecdotes they have read for homework as proof of their position.
Step 2: Read “Simple on Indian Blood,” p.17, and the paragraph beginning, “ ‘Because I hates, if threatened, not to be a lady,’ said Minnie . . . ,” p.236.
How does Hughes reveal his attitude toward women in these dialogues?
Step 3: Ask students if they feel Hughes qualifies as a humorous philosopher. Discuss as preparation for homework (b) indicated below.
Step 4: Assign for homework:
(a) List examples of wordplay. Set students started by pointing out some, which are:
“Someone is always trying to take disadvantage of me . . . ” p.12.
“I have been underfed, underpaid, undernourished, and everything but
Resolving ain’t solving
“It’s a wonder you are not rocking and reeling.”
“Rocky, but not really . . . ”p.112
“ . . . I don’t
money. I earns it. p.171
(b) Have students write a brief composition proving Hughes is a humorous philosopher because (a) he uses a comical tone to discuss serious issues of race; (b) he writes of human foibles true of most people, regardless of race; and (c) he integrates wordplay into his dialogues.