The Use of Symbols in Langston Hughes' The Negro Speaks of Rivers Essay

The Use of Symbols in Langston Hughes' The Negro Speaks of Rivers Essay

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The Use of Symbols in Langston Hughes' "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"


The poem ?The Negro Speaks of Rivers? by Langston Hughes contains many symbolic meanings about the identity of African Americans. Throughout the poem Hughes uses metaphorical statements to suggest to the reader what the soul of the African American has been through. The symbols of the old rivers from which the African American ideal has risen can be interpreted in many different ways. They represent the birth and growth of the African American culture, and some of the most significant moments of their past. The words written in this poem represent the pride and knowledge of a group of outstanding people.

Throughout the poem Hughes uses the word ?I? (line 4). This word does not represent one man but instead embodies the culture of African Americans. When Hughes says ?I?ve known rivers? (1) he actually means that the African Peoples have seen those times that are represented by the rivers and flourished because of them. In this poem the African Americans accomplishments and history are shown by the rive...

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