Analysis Of Langston Hughes 's ' The Negro Speaks Of Rivers ' Essay

Analysis Of Langston Hughes 's ' The Negro Speaks Of Rivers ' Essay

Length: 728 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

On February 1, 1902, Langston Hughes was born James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri. He is the son of James and Carrie Hughes, but they would later divorce after his birth. During his parents ' divorce, he was raised by his grandmother. Years later as a teen he would move to Cleveland, Ohio with his mother. One day at school his English teacher introduced him to poets Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, which would be his influence to writing poetry. He would write poems for his school magazine, but would get rejected.


In, 1920, Langston graduated from high school and went to Mexico to live with his father. While living with his father he, wrote the poem " The Negro speaks of Rivers" that was published in The Crisis Magazine. The following year, Langston returned to the U.S and went to Columbia University, but after a few months he dropped out and worked many jobs. A couple months later he signed up as a steward on a freighter that went to Spain and Africa. In 1923, he left and went to Paris to write and publish his poetry.


He came back to the U.S on November 1924, and w...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Sound and Sense in Langston Hughes' The Negro Speaks of Rivers Essay

- Sound and Sense in Langston Hughes' The Negro Speaks of Rivers   The text of the poem can be found at the bottom of this page.          In Langston Hughes' poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," Hughes makes use of some interesting poetic techniques. This poem is written in free verse, and seems, at first glance, to be very unstructured. Hughes repeats words and lines, but does not make use of repeated sounds. Hughes' rivers are very rich in symbolism, and are not just simple bodies of water. Finally, some of his word choices near the end of the poem help to bring the message of the poem across more strongly....   [tags: Negro Speaks Rivers Hughes Langston Essays]

Better Essays
1444 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Symbolism and Allusion in Langston Hughes' The Negro Speaks of Rivers

- Symbolism and Allusion in Langston Hughes' The Negro Speaks of Rivers In Langston Hughes' poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", he examines some of the roles that blacks have played throughout history. Ultimately, the poem asserts that in every one of these aspects the black people have been exploited and made to suffer, mostly at the hands of white people. The poem is written entirely in first person, so there is a very personal tone, even though the speaker symbolizes the entire black race. The examples of each role cited in the poem are very specific, but they allude to greater indignities, relying on the readers' general knowledge of world history....   [tags: Negro Speaks Rivers Langston Hughes Essays]

Better Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: poetry, the negro speaks of rivers, the secret of ]

Better Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

Symbolic Imagery in Langston Hughes' Poems, The Negro Speaks of Rivers and Mother To Son

- Symbolic Imagery in Langston Hughes' Poems, The Negro Speaks of Rivers and Mother To Son Langston Hughes uses symbolism throughout his poetry. In the poems 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers' and 'Mother To Son', Langston Hughes uses symbolism to convey his meaning of the poems to the readers. Readers may make many interpretations about the symbols used throughout these poems. Throughout the poem 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers' Hughes uses metaphorical statements to suggest to the reader what the soul of the African American has been through....   [tags: Negro Speaks Rivers Essays]

Better Essays
1653 words (4.7 pages)

Symbolism in The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes Essay

- Symbolism in “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes Symbolism embodies Hughes’ literary poem through his use of the river as a timeless symbol. A river can be portrayed by many as an everlasting symbol of perpetual and continual change and of the constancy of time and of life itself. People have equated rivers to the aspects of life - time, love, death, and every other indescribable quality which evokes human life. This analogy is because a river exemplifies characteristics that can be ultimately damaging or explicitly peaceable....   [tags: timelessness, slavery, soul]

Better Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Essence of Langston Hughes's The Negro Speaks of Rivers

- Black men have soul. Not just the physical soul that everyone possesses, but this culture or essence that they portray. Whether it’s the jazz music that they create, or the food that is made, the soul of black man is unlike any other. It is like a relentless entity that keeps going no matter what it endures, or the hardships it faces. It has also been around since the beginning of society. The Harlem Renaissance was the first movement in the United States that depicted the soul that black men had and still have....   [tags: Harlem Rennaissance, Concept of Soul]

Better Essays
1411 words (4 pages)

Analysis Of Langston Hughes 's ' The Negro Speaks Of Rivers ' Essay

- Biography On February 1, 1902, Langston Hughes was born James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri. He is the son of James and Carrie Hughes, but they would later divorce after his birth. During his parents ' divorce, he was raised by his grandmother. Years later as a teen he would move to Cleveland, Ohio with his mother. One day at school his English teacher introduced him to poets Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, which would be his influence to writing poetry. He would write poems for his school magazine, but would get rejected....   [tags: Langston Hughes, African American]

Better Essays
1048 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of Langston Hughes 's ' The Negro Speaks Of Rivers ' Essay

- On February 1, 1902, Langston Hughes was born James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri. He is the son of James and Carrie Hughes, but they would later divorce after his birth. During his parents ' divorce, he was raised by his grandmother. Years later as a teen he would move to Cleveland, Ohio with his mother. One day at school his English teacher introduced him to poets Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, which would be his influence to writing poetry. He would write poems for his school magazine, but would get rejected....   [tags: Langston Hughes, African American, Writing]

Better Essays
728 words (2.1 pages)

Essay Analysis Of Langston Hughes 's ' The Negro Speaks Of Rivers '

- Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri in 1902. He then grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and Lincoln, Illinois, and later went to high school in Cleveland, Ohio. All the places that Hughes moved to comprised of a small community of blacks who he was always attached to from a young age. He did come from a distinguished family, however, his parents divorced when he was young and he lived with his mother in near poverty. In 1921 his father helped him go to Columbia University in New York. Soon after moving there, he experienced Harlem and published “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”....   [tags: Black people, Harlem Renaissance, African American]

Better Essays
1965 words (5.6 pages)

Perseverance in Mother to Son and The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes

- The founding fathers constructed the Constitution with the notion that “all men were created equal.” However, many minorities still struggle for the same rights and opportunities as others. “Mother to Son” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” are poems written by Langston Hughes that use symbolism to exemplify the struggles of African Americans as they attempt to persevere through adversity. Hughes utilizes the stairs in “Mother to Son” and the rivers in “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” as his main modes of symbolism....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Better Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)