Poetry of Langston Hughes There Are Three Research Paper

Download this Research Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Research Paper:

Poetry of Langston Hughes

There are three poems of Langston Hughes' upon which the paper will focus. Those poems are: "I, too," "Democracy," and "Let America be America Again." "I, too" was a poem of focus earlier on in the course. "Democracy" and "Let America be America Again" are other poems with various similarities that the paper will bring to light over the course of the comparison. Some of the elements of the poetry that will be compared include themes, symbols, language, and metaphors. Through comparison of these poems, the paper will demonstrate just some of the commonalities across Hughes' body of work.

"I, too" is written in the first person. There are five stanzas in all. The first stanza and the last stanza only consists of one sentence. Each sentence begins with "I, too" and there is a mention of America. The middle three stanzas consist of several lines, and the fifth stanza only has three lines. The poem consists of words in isolation, phrases, and short sentences. The poem is written from a singular perspective, from that of an African-American male living in a subordinate position in a country dominated by White Americans. Despite communicating racial tensions, the tone of the poem is somewhat hopeful.

There is repetition of language in this poem. The word "I" is repeated the most often. Some key lines from the poem with the word "I" are: "I am the darker brother," "I, too am America," and "But I laugh,/And eat well,/And grow strong." The repetition of the word "I" is significant. The use of the word I reminds the reader of the subjective point-of-view of the writer and the imagined character talking to the reader. Hughes lived during the end of Reconstruction and into the Civil Rights Movement; therefore, as an African-American man, he had lived through segregation and some of the most racially turbulent moments of American history where the perspectives of minorities was not acknowledged or valued by the mainstream culture. Hughes' use of "I" throughout "I, too" is a rebellion to that kind of cultural repression. Repeating the word I throughout the poem is a kind of exercise of personal freedom; it is a declaration of existence.

Though there is no mention of white people in the poem, their presence is implied in the kinds of pronouns that Hughes uses. He writes, "They send me to eat in the kitchen/When company comes…" Later on he writes, "Nobody'll dare/Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen…" and "They'll see how beautiful I am and be/And be ashamed…" He does not say that white people order him to eat in the kitchen and that white people make him leave when there is company in the home. He does not specifically mention that whatever profession he has, it is a form of servitude to white people, yet in his simple and vague language, a great deal of racial tension and social stratification is implied.

Perhaps he felt that the facts of the African-American experience was common enough knowledge that it might be redundant or have less of an impact if he mentioned white supremacy in American culture, specifically. He chose to not mention the nature of racial segregation directly because it was extremely obvious and pervasive in American culture. Additionally, though the poem mentions issues that are sad and shameful parts of American history, the poem is not hateful, spiteful, or angry. Again, as aforementioned, "I, too" has a tone of hope.

"Democracy" is another fairly short poem consisting of five stanzas. "Democracy" is about the experience of living in America when one is not a part of the ethnic and cultural majority. A common theme in Hughes' poetry is the communication of the experience of the cultural other in America. An important part of the experience of non-whites is their exclusion from history with respect to their contributions, their subjectivity, and their experiences.

Hughes' poetry seeks to communicate the experience of American life from outside of the cultural norm. Whereas "I, too" was a bit hopeful, "Democracy" is more realistic and even cynical. This poem also communicates feelings such as exasperation (5th stanza) and disappointment (3rd stanza). There is a tone of self righteousness and of justice (2nd and 4th stanzas). There are some similarities in form and…[continue]

Cite This Research Paper:

"Poetry Of Langston Hughes There Are Three" (2012, December 10) Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/poetry-of-langston-hughes-there-are-three-105894

"Poetry Of Langston Hughes There Are Three" 10 December 2012. Web.25 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/poetry-of-langston-hughes-there-are-three-105894>

"Poetry Of Langston Hughes There Are Three", 10 December 2012, Accessed.25 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/poetry-of-langston-hughes-there-are-three-105894

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Poetry of Langston Hughes the

    In every stage and period in history, the black American is present, as demonstrated in the line of imagery repeatedly used in the poem, "My soul has grown deep like the rivers." The poem portrays the Negro as the cause rather than effect of human civilization. "The Negro" is a historical narrative of the life of the black American. Evidently, he had been present where human civilization thrived. Thus, human

  • Langston Hughes Poet of Experience

    To combat the power of their oppressive circumstances, many would sing to chase away the blue. This tradition is captured in the " Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor" (22). The song is about oppression and an attempt to be happy regardless of setting. Heritage, history and hope merge together in this poem to explore what the African experience must have been like. Hughes' poetry is also

  • Langston Hughes and Tennessee Williams

    Williams works often focuses on destruction and violence but one play that seems to garner the most attention is the Glass Menagerie. One character worth mentioning is Jim, whose simple and kind nature make him unique in the play. He is optimistic and full of hope and this has the greatest affect on Laura. With her, Williams elevates him to become a positive influence to help her move beyond her

  • Langston Hughes & Billie Holiday

    Similar to Hughes' usage of strong emotions to effectively convey his message in the poem, "Dream Deferred," Billie Holiday's songs focus mainly on the emotional, using the themes of love, pain, and loneliness as the anchors through which Holiday expressed her emotions as she sang these songs. "Gloomy Sunday" is an example of a song that expressed love and loneliness. The lyrics of the song are straightforward, and the longing

  • Langston Hughes Democracy a Number of Ideas

    Langston Hughes' "Democracy" A number of ideas are expressed -- and buried -- in Langston Hughes' 1949 poem "Democracy." The poem is composed in open form and appears to take its cues from the musical jazz movement of the time period. Its lines are short, often punctuated by abbreviated verses and sudden rhymes that indicate a sense of urgency and immediacy, while vibrating with a strong and insistent timbre and tone.

  • Langston Hughes Poetry a Reflection of the

    Langston Hughes Poetry A Reflection of the American Dream in Langston Hughes's Poetry The Harlem Renaissance was an artistic, literary, and cultural movement that emerged in New York, specifically Harlem, shortly after World War I and into the 1930s. One of the most prominent poets to arise from the cultural movement was Langston Hughes. Hughes's poetry explores the generational differences that have emerged and how though it may seem that there have

  • Langston Hughes More Understanding Than

    Hughes seems to indicate that cultural roots are so strong that each gets pulled indifferent directions. In "Poor little black fellow," a similar incident occurs with a white couple adopting their dead servant's black child (they call the child 'it'). Also here we see culture doing things to the Pemebertons that they didn't like and compelling them to act in certain ways. They had to go first class, their adopted

Read Full Research Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved