Mr. Langston Hughes was born in the state of Missouri in 1902. He was an accomplished writer at a young age, and a bit of a world traveler. Many would have to think it was because he was abandoned by his parents at a young age, which made him strive for more. Langston wrote many poems regarding black people in America, and the racism he experienced. He describes too many of his readers that he didn’t agree with racism, but he adapted to it if he had too. My goal in this paper is to show the readers how Langston’s poems are connected to the racism he faced every day, and the struggles he had to overcome to achieve the American Dream.
In the poem “Harlem” Hughes discusses what happens to one person’s dream of becoming successful. In the poem he questions does it get put on the back burner, does it go away, or does it haunt you like a like an open wound. Huges questions if the American Dream is lost by stating “Does it stink like rotten meat?” (Hughes 856). His readers would have to believe he might have felt like this at one point in his life about his dreams of becoming successful. The reason for that is because he finish college in his late twenties. Hughes also jump from job to job before deciding to go back to finish college. He wrote this particular poem after The Great Depression and World War II. This poem could have been triggered by the African American people he would encounter every day in Harlem, seeing their American Dreams dwindling away. In Bizot literary analysis he states that “The Great Depression was over, the war was over, but for African Americans the dream, whatever particular form it took, was still be deferred” (no page). Towards the end of the poem he describes, if one is not able to compl...
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...of him. To Hughes that’s what America is all about, without racism or segregation. In Zarlengo literary analysis she states “America, our narrator claims, is all of its parts. All of its parts are its people—you are America” (no page). This poem shows the reader that Hughes knows that even though he faces segregation every day, along with racism, he knows that one day it won’t always be like that.
I still find it hard to believe that racism and segregation existed. Every time I hear about it, it saddens me that people were like that. Even though Hughes didn’t have the power to change the laws, he had the best power, to write his thoughts on he felt. I know that we have evolved over the years and we no longer see it, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. My hope is to one day not have to hear about in the news, or see it for myself, like it has happened in the past.
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