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Theme of Sacrifice Leading to Transformation Illustrated in Hughes' 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers' and 'The Secret of the Sea'

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Water is the primary wealth of human civilization, and the link to everything in the world. Throughout history, poets and other artists have used water to reveal the secrets to the world, with sweat and tears of Sailor, Africans and African-Americans who are unrecognized. It shows the connection to the dawn of civilization. They are the ones who are unrepresented. For African and African-Americans lake possibly associated with slavery; while for sailors it might be an opportunity to develop themselves. While “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” connects the spirit and history of the African/African-American community, and the poem, “The Secret of the Sea,” expresses the strengths and potential of the hearts of sailors, and in both of poems they illustrate that sacrifice can lead to transformation.
“The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” by Langston Hughes has many symbolic meanings about the name of African-Americans. Throughout the poem, Hughes uses the image of the African-Americans has been through as metaphorical statements to indicate to the reader. The poem is written entirely in first person, so there is an intensely derogatory feel, even though the speaker symbolizes the entire black race. The symbols of the old rivers, Euphrates, Congo and Nile, from which the African-Americans belief has risen, can be interpreted in many ways. They represent the birth and growth of the African culture, and some of the most remarkable moments of their past. These rivers are also can be interpreted as the rivers of living. These rivers were the cradle of civilization in Africa like the Euphrates, Congo and Nile. Here in North America, the Mississippi River could be interpreted as the dawn of civilization in North America. Plus, these full rivers can be c...


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...ourney that many African-Americans ancestries went through.
In “The Secret of the Sea,” the imagery of the sea is the compared to a long journey that sailors will be heading directly. However, this poem is not a real-life journey, but a fantasy journey. The poem is noted in the first person, but the twist is its illusion. The imagery of water is mainly image of the sea, and the man who wants to be part of it. It starts with a vision that the author is trying projected. “Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me” (line 1), and continues to attract more picture to reader mind of his long dream trip. Throughout the poem, he uses that same format to address his message. The poem concludes with by interpreting the people who is looking for the missing piece that connects their life. And the lost souls are the ones who passed away or are the ones who finally found themselves.


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