Modernism In Langston Hughes's Influence Of Modernism

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“Modernism should properly be seen as a culture—a constellation of related ideas, beliefs, values, and modes of perception—that came into existence during the mid to late nineteenth century, and that has had a powerful influence on art and thought on both sides of the Atlantic since roughly 1900” (Singal 7). There has been a breakaway from old traditions of thought and value towards a movement in a belief of improvement, freedom, and equality. Modernism is not determined on creating a future, but rather moving forward in society. It does not mean an individual holding onto their heritage defines them as a person; instead it is a part of who they are and culture is what they have become. Therefore, all individuals in today’s society are what make up America. Modernism has allowed individuals to work together to bring forth a stronger, improved society of progression representing development, self-determination, and equal opportunity. In Langston Hughes’s poems “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “Theme for English B” are examples that embraced awareness towards modernism in American society. “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” represents the heritage of African Americans and “Theme for English B” represents the culture of today. Hence, Hughes’s poems signify how the African American ancestors allowed for their heritage to grow over time characterizing who people are leading towards modernistic culture. Explaining Langston Hughes Hughes conveyed how heritage is significant and has grown deep inside individual, but explained how that does not represent who they are today because modernism has brought forth an evolving culture, overall embracing a change in society. The poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” is about the birth of ancient African cul... ... middle of paper ... ...l. Today, culture is many colors; therefore everyone is the same, all called American. There should be no one person to be treated differently because of their color. Hughes presented how racism was an issue because of an individual’s heritage, but that should not have to matter since every one shares the same culture. Conclusion Modernism is the culture of today. It is the idea of moving forward towards an improved society. Heritage is who humans are by blood and culture is who humans are through the changes of America. All individuals share culture and have an impact on one another. America is constantly changing for the better. This change shows how modernism exists today. Hughes expressed this modernistic thought in his poems of how all individuals start with their heritage to find themselves and move towards their cultural traditions of all being equally free.

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