The New World by Amiri Baraka: Introduction

Amiri Baraka forward his radical view in the poem The New World by saying that he wants to dream with purpose the new world as a only real world for Black. Baraka is sure to get victory in making the new world which, according to him is inevitable in this poem.

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014)

He dreams until new world is born. The new world is bound to be born so as to guarantee justice, equality and indiscrimination. For Baraka poetry is as powerful as a weapon. Weapons are used to destroy white domination similarly poetry is used to destroy discrimination. Through this poetry, he is trying to excite the people for explosion. This poem is loaded with the message of freedom and independence (New World). The speaker is confirmed to his victory that he is not going to be defeated. He knows the way to fulfill his purposeful dream, which he believes that it doesn’t go in vain. For speaker, New World is to be born. Baraka criticizes the capitalistic civilization of America after the Second World War. He criticizes corrupting bourgeois cultural values of American civilization. The present New World for Baraka is dominated by frustration, corruption, lust, fragmentation and the miserable condition of the people. In this world the dreams (dreams of happiness, harmony, love etc) turn out to be horrible conceits.

The poem depicts a picture of modern American Waste Land where a person who opposes evils of civilization faces the problem of identity. The poem has the setting of evening in the urban area. The time of evening implies the American civilization after the Second World War. The setting which is a metropolitan city stands for capitalism, bourgeois culture and the images of vehicles can be shown as the glimpse of capitalistic culture. In the first part of the poem he shows the plight of worker who are struggling around the streets. By using “burns” he depicts the glimpse of the pitiable condition of working people.

The poem “The New World" is a critique of the white values and the so-called civilized west. The persona is simply describing a scene in which some people in a certain street of a modern metropolis are emptying the street as they leave it after work. The persona only presents rather describe the details of the scene. But the tone and many clues in the poem tell us that he is critical about the people and their culture. The description naturally develops into a more meditative commentary on larger issues. At the end, the poetic persona wishes to "empty all of me... the danger of identification" because, as he says toward the middle of the poem that "those who realize how fitful consciousness is, stare solemnly out on the emptying street..." He means that for those people who are conscious and conscientious, this state of affair is unbearable.

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Sharma, Kedar N. "The New World by Amiri Baraka: Introduction" BachelorandMaster, 22 Sep. 2014,

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