America By Langston Hughes

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The Jazz Age’s View of America The nature of an ideology is completely personal; one’s interpretation may vary greatly from another’s interpretation. This is demonstrated in the two poems, “America” by Claude McKay and “Let America be America Again” by Langston Hughes. Both of these poems emerge from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and though these two poems each describe an ideological viewpoint of America as a place and a concept, the two speakers view the subject differently from one another. Both poets employ similar sound devices, yet the tones and themes vary between the two works. Hughes’s poem, “Let America be America Again” conveys a forward-looking, emboldened tone. The speaker acknowledges the suffering of all of the different people, from the “poor white” (Hughes 19) to the “red man” (Hughes 20) to the “Negro” (Hughes 32). The speaker attempts to name all who have suffered in America, but continues to dream that …show more content…

In line 6, the speaker requests that “America be the dream the dreamers dreamed” (Hughes). This sing-songy style coupled with the repetition of the word “dream” underlines the importance of the message of the poem by reiterating the point the author wishes to make: Americans wish America truly was the place where man can seek his fortune. Hughes also plays with rhyme: throughout the poem, the lines often end with an “ee” sound, though no formal structure is employed. The speaker states that America is a place where man is “seeking a home where he himself is free/(America never was America to me)” (Hughes 4-5), and at the end of the poem, the speaker repeats “America never was America to me” shortly followed by “America will be!” (Hughes 92-94). This repetition of rhyme highlights the speaker’s hope that he, along with his fellow countrymen, will one day be free. Hughes’s belief of a better tomorrow is demonstrated in this

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