Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem

Summary and analysis of Claude McKay’s book, `Home to Harlem`.

This paper introduces, discusses, and analyzes the book, `Home to Harlem`, by Claude McKay. Specifically, it looks at how the poet deals with the other side of the Harlem Renaissance in his novel.
“Home to Harlem` is the story of two young black men, Jake and Ray, who attempt to make a living while enjoying all the joys of Harlem during the height of the Harlem Renaissance. McKay’s novel clearly shows that the Renaissance was more than just an intellectual and artistic movement that grew up in Harlem during the 1910s and 1920s. With his two diverse characters, McKay shows there were many different elements creating the Harlem Renaissance, from the less-educated immigrant such as Jake, who lives mainly for pleasure and self-gratification, to the intellectual Ray, who dreams of being a writer. He is not as hedonistic as Jake, and he is torn between the white man’s world, where he does not fit in, and the Harlem world, where he does not quite fit in either.`