Prejudice in Langston Hughes' Novel, Not Without Laughter Essay

Prejudice in Langston Hughes' Novel, Not Without Laughter Essay

Length: 1376 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Throughout Langston Hughes' novel, Not Without Laughter, the author introduces multiple characters that reveal their notions of prejudice. The novel explores that prejudice in one form or another is in every aspect of one's life. Prejudice can be defined as an opinion for or against a person's look, race, class, or religion, which is usually formed by a hasty generalization. Most of the main characters, Aunt Hager, Sister Johnson, Jimboy, Harriet, and Tempy contain different accounts of prejudice in the world, which stimulate many of Sandy's thoughts of life as he comes of age. Aunt Hager, Annjee, Harriet, and Sandy, are a multi-generation poor African American family that live in a small home together but are eventually divided by multiple circumstances. The story takes place in the 1910s in the small town of Stanton, Kansas.
The first main character in the novel is Aunt Hager, an older Christian Baptist woman who was once a slave. She is the grandmother and advocate of one boy named, Sandy and mother of three girls named: Tempy, Annjee, and Harriet. Aunt Hager, even though she was once a slave, throughout the book she shows sympathetic tendencies toward white people. On many different occasions she defends how white people treat African Americans, explaining that they just don't understand or comprehend their horrendous treatment toward people of color. Although she defends white people, she has no problem in forming prejudice against her son-in-law Jimboy. Jimboy is married to Annjee, Annjee is also Sandy's mother. Aunt Hager's disposition towards Jimboy at times is intolerable to her daughter Annjee. Annjee loves Jimboy and they have been married eight years. Over the eight years, Aunt Hager has formed strong opinions of Jim...


... middle of paper ...


...onclussion on the path Sandy may eventually choose.
In conclusion, the author produces prejudices that surround each one of the characters in the novel. Each of the characters constructs their own internal turmoil dealing with the times and the race they were born into. The novel shows prejudices towards looks, class, race, and religious beliefs. In my opinion, the author shows that prejudice encompasses everyone's life in one form or another. Nobody can fully be excluded from the prejudices that are formed in this world. While the authors' sometimes-exuberant description of prejudice is narrated throughout the novel, he also describes through the use of the character Sandy, life is "Not Without Laughter" (p.249)



Works Cited

Hughes, Langston. Not Without Laughter. 1930. Introd. Maya Angelou.

Foreword Arna Bontemps. New York:Simon and Schuster, 1995. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Prejudice in Langston Hughes' Novel, Not Without Laughter

- Throughout Langston Hughes' novel, Not Without Laughter, the author introduces multiple characters that reveal their notions of prejudice. The novel explores that prejudice in one form or another is in every aspect of one's life. Prejudice can be defined as an opinion for or against a person's look, race, class, or religion, which is usually formed by a hasty generalization. Most of the main characters, Aunt Hager, Sister Johnson, Jimboy, Harriet, and Tempy contain different accounts of prejudice in the world, which stimulate many of Sandy's thoughts of life as he comes of age....   [tags: christian baptist, african-american family]

Strong Essays
1387 words (4 pages)

Prejudice in Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes Essay

- Prejudice is a cancer that spreads hate among its perpetrators and victims alike. In 1930 Langston Hughes penned the novel, Not Without Laughter. This powerful story, written from the perspective of an African-American boy named James “Sandy” Rodgers, begins in the early 1900’s in the small town of Stanton, Kansas. Through the eyes of young Sandy, we see the devastating impact of racism on his family and those they are close to. We also see how the generations of abuse by whites caused a divide within the black community....   [tags: skin color, whites, slavery]

Strong Essays
1743 words (5 pages)

Langston Hughes, An African American Writer Essay

- Langston Hughes was an African American Writer who became famous in the 1920’s during the Harlem Renaissance. During his writing for nearly 50 years he helped expressed the minds of most if not all African Americans. Langston Hughes began writing in high school, and even at a very early age was developing the writing voice that made him famous. Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, but lived with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas until he was thirteen and then with his mother in Lincoln, Illinois and Cleveland, Ohio where he went to high school (Langston)....   [tags: Langston Hughes, African American]

Strong Essays
1628 words (4.7 pages)

The Explanation And Critique Of The Novel ' Pride And Prejudice ' Essays

- In the explanation and critique of the novel Pride and Prejudice, Judith Wylie’s article Dancing in Chains: feminist satire in Pride and Prejudice directly cynosures how women had little power in nineteenth century England and they must do everything they could do to be both financially and socially prestigious. Jane Austen and Judith Wylie in their works of literature both show that women had little power by satirizing the way society was organized which made women have little power and put women at a disadvantage in society....   [tags: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Marriage]

Strong Essays
1053 words (3 pages)

The Novel ' Pride And Prejudice ' Essay

- The novel, Pride and Prejudice, revolves around relationships and the attitudes towards marriage of different characters. Each couple in the story has a different motive for their marriage. In the Regency Era that the novel was written, it was typical for a woman to marry a man for money or social status. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Jane and Mr. Bingley, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Lydia and Mr. Wickham, and Charlotte and Mr. Collins are five of the couples in the novel that all married for various reasons....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Marriage, Fitzwilliam Darcy]

Strong Essays
1052 words (3 pages)

Langston Hughes' Poem, Without Benefit of Declaration Essay

- Langston Hughes' Poem, Without Benefit of Declaration "BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE." This phrase is run on commercials in an attempt to try and recruit men and women to enlist in the United States Army. The commercial shows men and women completing obstacles and high tech training. Some other commercials for the United States Armed Forces use tactics, such as; awarding money for college after the recruit has spent a given amount of time in their Army, Navy, or Air Force. But, what the commercials fail to do is to depict the reality of any soldier's life post war....   [tags: Without Benefit Declaration Essays]

Free Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)

Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice Essay

- Jane Austen masters the use of epistolary in her novel Pride and Prejudice, to add more layers and understanding to her piece, and to quickly put forth a message rather than prolong the plot. Austen uses letters as a dramatic device to add effectiveness to the novel and to continue to unravel the plot. Letters reveal an intimate perspective of a character 's thoughts without any intrusion from another character, and it aids in the revelation of character. Specifically, the letters in Pride and Prejudice allow Austen to communicate important information that would take longer to write as a narrative....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Novel]

Strong Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

- Pride and prejudice is a novel written by Jane Austen during the early 1800s. The novel mainly focused on the reality of what went on during that time with women. Throughout the novel we are able to see many of Jane’s moral visions and where she stands in life based on her moral judgement. Interestingly, Jane writes her novels solely from her experiences. Her characters are representations of the people around her, and by reading about them we can see what it was like to live their lives. As a woman, Jane Austen provides us with a compass of morality....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Morality, Novel]

Strong Essays
1554 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on the Departure from the Romantic Novel in Pride and Prejudice

- A Departure from the Romantic Novel in Pride and Prejudice       In Pride and Prejudice, Austen describes the union of 4 couples -- namely, Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Bingley, Lydia and Wickham, and Charlotte and Collins. For the Elizabeth-Darcy relationship, it is clearly an inversion of romantic expectations, and Austen makes it clear that this steadfast, rational relationship is desirable, yet the Charlotte-Collins relationship, [very rational] while also being unconventional, suffers some criticism....   [tags: Pride Prejudice Essays]

Strong Essays
1398 words (4 pages)

Langston Hughes- Theme Analysis Essay

- Langston Hughes's stories deal with and serve as a commentary of conditions befalling African Americans during the Depression Era. As Ostrom explains, "To a great degree, his stories speak for those who are disenfranchised, cheated, abused, or ignored because of race or class." (51) Hughes's stories speak of the downtrodden African-Americans neglected and overlooked by a prejudiced society. The recurring theme of powerlessness leads to violence is exemplified by the actions of Sargeant in "On the Road", old man Oyster in "Gumption", and the robber in "Why, You Reckon?" Hughes's "On the Road" explores what happens when a powerless individual takes action on behalf of his conditions....   [tags: Poetry Poem Langston Hughes]

Free Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)