Poems are expression of the human soul, and even though, is not everyone’s cup of tea when the individual finds that special poem it moves their soul one with the poet. There are many poets in the world, but the one that grab my attention the most was no other than Langston Hughes. It would be impossible for me to cover all the poems he wrote, but the one that grab my attention the most is called “Let America Be America Again.” It first appeared in “1938 pamphlet by Hughes entitled A New Song. Which was published by a socialist organization named the International Worker Order” (MLM) and later change back to its original name. I have never felt such an energy coming out of a poem like this one which is the reason that I instantly felt in love with it.
One can instantly feel the emotion coming out in the first sentence; “Let America be America again.”(MLM) This clearly show that Hughes was very passionate about his country and wanted the reader to be just as well. He quickly lets the reader now that he is not talking about going back to the old traditions, but to the old ideology. Hughes explain it this way, “Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed” and “…where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme that any man be crushed by on above.” (MLM) This shows his true heart because he wanted America to go back to dreaming big for a better tomorrow, but what he doesn’t want is the injustice that was so prevalent in the past. He wanted the nation to go back to that old ideology “that we are all created equal”() and should be treated as such.
“There’s never been equality for me, nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.” Hughes quickly puts himself as the one being oppressed. His reader quickly discover that he is portraying himse...
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...qual treatment for every single individual. Hughes is clearly motivating the reader or the listener to take action not against America but against the corruption that is taking place in America because the true America is pure and good.
Like millions of Americans or hundreds them that never really enjoy a poem I’m definitely one of them. There is so much anger in this poem that it quickly grabs my attention and pulled me into his world. I have never knew that such a poem could express such a strong emotion on paper, and even though, I don’t consider myself a communist lover I can clearly understand why he might have been one. His world was clearly different from mine and through his words I was able to feel his pain and suffering because of it. For people that never consider reading a poem they should give it a try because one’s never know what they will find.
To understand why someone writes the way they do, we must understand where they come from. Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, in nineteen-oh-two. He grew up with his grandmother due to his parents being separated. Growing up with his grandmother, Hughes was told stories of how slavery should be ended and this filled him with a great deal of pride and respect for not only himself, but his race. (“Hughes”)
Like most, the stories we hear as children leave lasting impacts in our heads and stay with us for lifetimes. Hughes was greatly influenced by the stories told by his grandmother as they instilled a sense of racial pride that would become a recurring theme in his works as well as become a staple in the Harlem Renaissance movement. During Hughes’ prominence in the 20’s, America was as prejudiced as ever and the African-American sense of pride and identity throughout the U.S. was at an all time low. Hughes took note of this and made it a common theme to put “the everyday black man” in most of his stories as well as using traditional “negro dialect” to better represent his African-American brethren. Also, at this time Hughes had major disagreements with members of the black middle class, such as W.E.B. DuBois for trying to assimilate and promote more european values and culture, whereas Hughes believed in holding fast to the traditions of the African-American people and avoid having their heritage be whitewashed by black intellectuals.
This poem is often compared to Walt Whitman’s I Hear America Singing because of the similarities of the two poems. In this poem, Hughes argues that the African American race is equal to whites. Hughes even declares that one day the African American race will be equal to whites. Hughes proclaims, “Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed-I, too, am America.” Hughes was very bold and daring when he wrote these lines in this poem. He is implying that the white people will regret what they have done to blacks. That they will be ashamed of how they treated them. Undoubtedly, this poem expresses Hughes cultural identity.
This image is the author’s perspective on the treatment of “his people” in not only his hometown of Harlem, but also in his own homeland, the country in which he lives. The author’s dream of racial equality is portrayed as a “raisin in the sun,” which “stinks like rotten meat” (Hughes 506). Because Hughes presents such a blatantly honest and dark point of view such as this, it is apparent that the author’s goal is to ensure that the reader is compelled to face the issues and tragedies that are occurring in their country, compelled enough to take action. This method may have been quite effective in exposing the plight of African-Americans to Caucasians. It can be easily seen that Hughes chooses a non-violent and, almost passive method of evoking a change. While Hughes appears to be much less than proud of his homeland, it is apparent that he hopes for a future when he may feel equal to his fellow citizens, which is the basis of the “dream” that has been
One of the advantages of how he wrote his poetry is that it can take hold of people by exemplifying his accounts of the everyday life that the disenfranchised experience. Hughes took on the injustices that other dared no to speak of. He wrote about how the African-American people of the 1920’s suffered the plight of racial inequality. In many cases I believe that Hughes used his writing as an instrument of change. In “Come to the Waldorf-Astoria” (506) Hughes tackles the drastic disparity between wealthy whites and the African Americans of the 1930’s. This piece displays an unconventional style for a poem; using satire to capture the reader’s attention. By using this satiric form of poetry Hughes is able to play on the emotions of the white reader, while at the same time inspiring the black readers. Hughes is constantly comparing the luxuries of the Waldorf-Astoria to the hardships that the African American people were experiencing. “It's cold as he...
Langston Hughes, born on 1902 in Joplin, Missouri, was an American poet, novelist, and playwright during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. He saw and experienced constant racism and prejudice in his life and later wrote in an attempt to help the oppressed have a voice. Hughes’ poem “Let America Be America Again” was originally published in an issue of Esquire Magazine in 1936, though he first wrote the poem in 1935. The poem was last published in 1938 in a small collection of Hughes poems called A New Song. The poem was written with attention to tone, diction, structure, and poetic devices to give a voice to Americans being denied the American dream.
The contradiction of being both black and American was a great one for Hughes. Although this disparity was troublesome, his situation as such granted him an almost begged status; due to his place as a “black American” poet, his work was all the more accessible. Hughes’ black experience was sensationalized. Using his “black experience” as a façade, however, Hughes was able to obscure his own torments and insecurities regarding his ambiguous sexuality, his parents and their relationship, and his status as a public figure.
“I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. I cannot live on tomorrow's bread, ” (112) in this metaphor, the narrator doesn’t have the patience to wait for his own rights and freedom because by the time his freedom and rights are granted he will most likely be deceased and not be there to enjoy it/use it. He’s tired of living the way he is and the way he’s being mistreated. The narrator wants to live like every other white person. In this quote, “I have as much right As the other fellow has To stand On my own two feet And own the land,” (111) the author is expressing, through an idiom that he wants equality just like the whites. The narrator says that it’s not fair that the opposite color have more privileges than them. Another example from the poem says, “I live here,too. I want freedom Just as you” (112). Here the author is saying that the narrator needs his freedom because he can’t be treated like he is right now (unfair rights). Hughes is expressing his perspective on democracy by using figurative language and descriptive
Langston Hughes was probably the most well-known literary force during the Harlem Renaissance. He was one of the first known black artists to stress a need for his contemporaries to embrace the black jazz culture of the 1920s, as well as the cultural roots in Africa and not-so-distant memory of enslavement in the United States. In formal aspects, Hughes was innovative in that other writers of the Harlem Renaissance stuck with existing literary conventions, while Hughes wrote several poems and stories inspired by the improvised, oral traditions of black culture (Baym, 2221). Proud of his cultural identity, but saddened and angry about racial injustice, the content of much of Hughes’ work is filled with conflict between simply doing as one is told as a black member of society and standing up for injustice and being proud of one’s identity. This relates to a common theme in many of Hughes’ poems that dignity is something that has to be fought for by those who are held back by segregation, poverty, and racial bigotry. The poems “Visitors to the Black Belt”, “Note on Commercial Theatre”, “Democracy”, and “Theme for English B” by Hughes all illustrate the theme of staying true to one’s cultural identity and refusing to compromise it despite the constant daily struggle it meant to be black in an Anglo centric society.
What Hughes means by this is that he is trying to say that everyone no matters their skin color or anything, everyone deserves to have right and freedom. For example, on page 112 lines 1-4 it reads, “I have as much right as the other fellow has to stand on my feet and land”. This quote connects back to the thesis because it shows how strong Langston Hughes feels that he and others have as much right and freedom as suppose to the white people. As you can see, Langston Hughes feels that on democracy everybody should have it and
Although he believes it was better in the past, he sees America as some sort of fraud because it was never a bastion of freedom. This quote, “O, let my land be a land where Liberty / Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, / But opportunity is real, and life is free, / Equality is in the air we breathe. / (There’s never been equality for me, / Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”) (Hughes, 11-16) captures the fabrication that America was never the home of the free. There is this concept that America is a place of freedom and equality but Hughes understandably does not see it this way. He utilizes examples of many groups of people that have been persecuted either racially or economically such as poor white people, black slaves, Native Americans, and immigrants (Hughes, 19-22). These persecuted groups are overlooked and not given the basic freedoms promised in
Therefore, Hughes portrays the idea of progression of freedom and racial equality because he decided to stay in his seat and have the americans be ashamed of how they treated him for his
The first thing the author, Langston Hughes, used to bring out his purpose for writing is the use of hyperbole. This can be seen in lines twenty-three and twenty-four of the poem. “He’s trying to ruin the government, And overturn the land!” (Hughes 23, 24) The landlord immediately jumps to an extreme in these lines. The landlord immediately jumps to this conclusion when the African-American man is trying to resolve the issue of the condition of his house. The landlord immediately viewed the man as a hostile person when he tried to
...urvive, and conquer life and society’s challenges. Hughes was an advocate and speaker for his community. He uses the memory of his past to instill pride in his African American community.