Langston Hughes, An American Poet Essay

Langston Hughes, An American Poet Essay

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Langston Hughes, an American Poet, is one of the most influential poets in American history. He was a social activist and novelist that spoke up for others that couldn 't and spread his ideas and thoughts amongst America. He was born on February 1,1902 and died at the age of 65 on May 22, 1967. He might of died but his legacy still lives amongst the world, his work still being translated into to todays meaning and being published for all to see. Langston has said that his most influential writers were Paul Laurence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman; all having an influential and deep background in novels and poems. He began orchestrating poems in the late teens and his career took off in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance movement. In the span of his career he wrote over 100 books and poems that impacted not only America but the world as well, and his work still does to this day. Langston Hughes wrote about a variety of things ranging from racism to loyalty. However, three of his poems: “Dreams”,”As I Grew Older” and “Harlem” all have thematic similarities of struggle and empowerment.
“Dreams” is a short but to the point kind of poem, with not many words but a lot of meaning. At first glance, the poem is about the value of dreaming, but at a deeper look the real meaning is the way we look at each other’s lives and how we compare our dreams to everyone else’s but forget that there are many people that would kill to live our own. This poem states that instead of following other’s dreams and desires and attempt to surpass other’s dreams, we can


dream up our own and accomplish them. Hughes writes,“Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly,” because without your own dreams and desires, no dreams will be achieved. Lif...


... middle of paper ...


...moving up in social class and fulfilling their dreams. Hughes believes that dreams do not simply not disappear, but undergo evolution. Hughes suggests that during this time, blacks aren 't capable to dream or better themselves because of the oppression. Even if he were to dream, they would “fester” and “rot” and “explode” because of society.
Conclusively, all three of these poems are very similar and intertwined with each other because of the meanings behind them. The struggle behind all three of these poems is the unavailability for African Americans to have dreams and desires and also having the capability of achieving them. Whether their dreams are being blocked or not capable of fulfilling them, blacks are struggling to rise up in social class. But, the ideas behind these few poems have angered many and gave blacks the power to fight for what they deserve.


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