American Literature Adding Richness and Variety to Our Literary Tradition Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Shannon, Jr.

"Outsiders" in a Multicultural Society

The United States is generally recognized for the multitude of cultural values present in the country as a result of the wide range of ideas that have been introduced here across the years. While the majority of individuals in the country have often discriminated against people that they considered "outsiders," many notable non-white persons in the country's history have managed to emphasize the fact that they too are an active part of its culture and that they are able to contribute to making society as a whole acknowledge its complex nature. Langston Hughes and Jhumpa Lahiri are two of the most prominent artists responsible for making the American community accept its multicultural character and for influencing Americans to adopt less discriminatory attitudes concerning non-white individuals. Hughes got actively involved in changing the way that the masses and African-Americans in particular saw discriminated groups in the U.S. Lahiri wants people to see matters from the perspective from someone who can be considered a victim of globalization as she focuses on making people understand the suffering associated with being unable to find a cultural identity.

Hughes' poem "Song for a Dark Girl" provides readers with a grim image of an African-American person mourning her lover. When considering the circumstances in the poem, it appears that he was wrongfully accused and murdered by individuals who did not actually understand the nature of their act. By constantly relating to the location where the poem takes place, "Way Down South in Dixie" (Hughes 223). Mr. Hughes probably wants readers to comprehend that this place is prone to experiencing such episodes of lynching blacks. When considering that conditions in the American South was a critical time during the early decades of the twentieth century. The Harlem Renaissance in particular, it is only safe to assume that Hughes simply wanted to highlight the wrongness present in a presumably civilized society.

What is intriguing about Hughes is that he appears to write for a different public than for the racist individuals that he condemns. He apparently considers that it would be wrong for him to criticize the American community as a whole for the fact that some of its members are unable to understand that discrimination is wrong. Through relating to conditions in the South, Hughes actually wants to criticize people for their failure to intervene and stop discrimination from happening. His main audience was composed of the individuals who actually belonged to his group (221). The community that saw the Harlem Renaissance experiences a rapid rise and that played an essential role in shaping the country's personality was the one that needed to understand the feelings that Hughes wanted to put across through his works.

The simplicity present in Hughes' poem is not necessarily a result of the fact that he was not familiarized with more complex literary concepts. It is actually owed to his interest in having people observe the harsh reality related to discrimination. The fact that 1920s people expressed a cultural desire for primitivism made it possible for the poet to have them appreciate his work and the hidden message behind it.

Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Third and Final Continent" is an attempt that the…

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