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. The content of the poem is also structured like that of a piece of jazz music, with various layers of meaning coming together all at once through symbol, metaphor, assonance and suggestion. This paper will analyze the meaning of Hughes' "Democracy" by examining its use of various poetic devices as well as the ideas that the poem's language helps to convey both literally and figuratively.
The poem begins with the line "Democracy will not come," which is full of…… [Read More]
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 orld ar 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 been obstacles that have been overcome through the years, many things do not seem to change. Through his poetry, Hughes was able to demonstrate how each generation strives to be better than the last and the disappointment that may be encountered when one may not be able to achieve their dream.
In the poem "Mother to Son," the narrator encourages her son to continue to fight against the current and to not allow all her hard work to…… [Read More]
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 recognized for its human touch. Hughes had a way of looking at what might seem like an ordinary experience and find something significant in it. An example of this can be seen with the poem, "Mother to Son." The topic of this poem is simply a mother talking to her son; however, the poet captures the essence of the mother's desire to pass on her knowledge to her young boy. Her knowledge is significant because she has lived the life…… [Read More]
Langston Hughes method of exposing racism and gender racism in Five Plays is to simply tell it like it is, to show all aspects of black life, good, bad, beautiful, ugly, and everything in between. He depicts forms of racism such as oppression, miscegenation, violence, dishonesty in the name of religion, illegal profiteering playing upon the hopes and dreams of the poor, at the same time he glorifies the love, beauty, uplifting music, true faith and laughter of his black brothers and sisters. He doesn't try to hide what is unsavory about blacks. He doesn't need to put a lot of whites in his plays to demonstrate racism. Langston Hughes presents the black people as they are, showing how racism and gender racism has continues to affect their lives.
The Voices and Visions video on Langston Hughes reveals how the artistry of Hughes has contributed to our understanding of racism.…… [Read More]
Langston Hughes felt that African-Americans should be able to live in freedom in the 20th Century. He saw African-Americans as a vibrant race, full of live, compassion, and love. He didn't approve of complacent people. Because Hughes was at the center of the Harlem Renaissance, he naturally felt that African-Americans should speak up and demand what they want. He felt that African-Americans should be proud of their heritage -- they shouldn't try to be something that they are not. They shouldn't try to fit into the white culture. More specifically, they should embrace their heritage and love themselves as described in the following:
And so the word white comes to be unconsciously a symbol of all the virtues. It holds for the children beauty, morality, and money. The whisper of "I want to be white" runs silently through their minds. This young poet's home is, I believe, a fairly typical…… [Read More]
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 son second class. The white couple try to get him to go to Versailles. He prefers his Negro crowd -- again the cultural differences! And the story ends by Pemberton who had never been so emotionally disturbed over anything in his life fainting when Arnie announces his intentions to marry a 'white, white omanian girl. To Americans such as Pemberton, Black and White do not mix. Enculturation dominated itself over everything, swamping fraternal feeling.
Du Bois, too, sees the dignity…… [Read More]
In "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain," Hughes speaks greatly about jazz, noting that the blacks in Harlem are not afraid to be the way that they are, unlike the middle-class blacks who Hughes accuses of constantly trying to act like they are white. One of the aspects of this group that Hughes points to is jazz music, along with gospel music. Thus, Hughes points to jazz as the ideal -- where blacks express themselves freely through their own art. Jazz, then, like racism and race, was a major component of Hughes life that greatly impacts his work.
But while Hughes' lyrical work is the most prominent feature of his life, he was not only a poet and an intellectual. Hughes was, like many blacks during his time, a hard working man, a man who worked at many blue-collar jobs. Fishman states that Hughes had his first job during…… [Read More]
Instead of simply imagining Hughes sitting in the room with the musician, now the reader can see himself in that room; he can hear the music for himself; he can almost feel the pulse of the pianist stomping his foot on the floor. In the poem "The Weary Blues," Langston Hughes expertly uses musical allusions to bring the reader into his world.
The inclusion of musical allusions remained a theme in Langston Hughes' work throughout his life and career. Later in his life, in Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951), he published a poem called "Dream Boogie." This is a poem that also uses musical allusions. "The Weary Blues" uses the blues to drive it; "Dream Boogie" uses jazz.
The part of jazz that stands out is the aspect that is off-melody, the part that is off-rhythm. While most musical forms find value in the musician's ability to follow the…… [Read More]
As a participant in the American history, the author feels that he was among those deceived by the empty promises of democracy and equality: "Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream / in the Old orld while still a serf of kings, / ho dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true, / That even yet its mighty daring sings / in every brick and stone, in every furrow turned / That's made America the land it has become."(Hughes) Slowly the negative tone of the poem changes and Hughes directs his views to the future of the nation, where the American Dream still remains to be fulfilled: "O, let America be America again-- / the land that never has been yet-- / and yet must be -- the land where every man is free. / the land that's mine -- the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME --…… [Read More]
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 and loving expressed in the song is applicable to anyone and not only exclusive to the experience of African-Americans.
Indeed, the writing style and exclusivity or universality of the themes become the point of departure of the similarities between Hughes' and Holiday's poetry and songs, respectively. Looking at Hughes' poetry, it is evident that his writing style is creatively developed through the usage of symbolism and metaphors, not to mention the exclusivity or context-dependent themes and issues depicted in his…… [Read More]
When he explains that the "muddy bosom" of the river (or, of the life of the black culture) turns "all golden in the sunset," that is a sweet transition for a culture, and nothing less than mystical, magical and wonderful. Turning mud to gold is the miracle of survival through all the chaos, carnage, and brutal injustices done to black people over the centuries.
In "Mother to Son" the poet is using the genre of family, the power structure in the nuclear family, to make a statement to the whole culture of African-Americans. While the first poem uses broad brushstrokes on a global canvas -- pointing to the past, and the black culture's survival as it moves forward into the future like the flow of a river -- in "Mother to Son" Hughes brings his message home, using the stairs as a metaphor for human struggles and the strength it…… [Read More]
It is necessary to consider this schizoid view in detail. The opposite of love is hate. hile the black may love, they also have a dark side of hate close by. This is why he accentuates the love of blackness and asserted it so strongly, particularly at a time when it was not politically correct to do so. He is particularly pained by the fact that black men are not loving black women (or light skinned, if not white women). No wonder this type of mother is saying "don't be like niggers." hile she loves her son, she hates herself and her people and this self-loathing does not help her son's impressions at all.
In "Sweet Brown Harlem Girl," David Jarraway remarks that in this and his other Harlem poems Hughes is looking at this love theme as part of a variety of dream postponements. Due to the general disappointment…… [Read More]
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,…… [Read More]
Pedagogy -- Langston Hughes and Frederick Douglass
Critical Pedagogy in Literature
There are two phenomena -- discrete even in their close relation -- called structural violence and cultural violence that I have recently learned to call by their socio-political monikers. A discussion about structural and cultural violence is relevant to the topic of the paper since both exemplify the foundation upon which racial prejudice and justification for social class rests. To truly understand how astonishing the perceptions of Frederick Douglass were, particularly given his young age, and to appreciate the place of courage and rage from which Langston Hughes wrote, it is essential to know deeply about structural violence and cultural violence. To that end, this paper will endeavor to weave theories about structural violence, cultural violence, and critical pedagogy throughout the discussion about how two important literary figures understood literacy and education to be a means to defying cultural…… [Read More]
Dream Variations by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes, born in 1902, in Joplin Missouri, in the middle of a segregated country that allowed its African-American population to develop up to a certain level, never above the lowest of the white classes, even in the happiest of cases. He wrote his poetry like a man who was proud to express his African-American descent and was the first to introduce the music rhythms of his African ancestry along with those of his American more recent cultural identity into the poetry he wrote.
Langston Hughes poem "Dream Variations," written in the form of a stanza, expresses the dream of a whole population caught under the merciless and implacable laws of discrimination based on the color of its skin. Dreaming of being completely free is a constant of the human race and the humanity in those often treated as sub-humans by their fellow countrymen is…… [Read More]
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 society in general has the obligation to preserve the race where humanity has possibly originated or came from. The black American race traces its roots from humanity's earliest peoples, and it is through them that humanity can learn more from their past and hence, they can appreciate the present and their future better because of these direct descendants of the earliest humans on earth. Put in the historical context, pure imagery and symbolism in "The Negro" gains deeper meaning, relevance,…… [Read More]
The poet writes with an intent, but very still, voice illustrating how meaningless the event was. Readers are presented with the image of a mother only wanting to protect her child but falling short thanks to the ruthlessness of her fellow men. The child, as in Hughes' poem, represents a type of innocence that will not last long in this world.
"Ballad of Birmingham," is also like "Dream Boogie" in that it has a singsong like quality. It is similar to a lullaby, which only makes the aspect of the bombing that more painful. The danger is realized as the mother says:
"No, baby, no, you may not go,
For the dogs are fierce and wild,
And clubs and hoses, guns and jails
Aren't good for a little child" (5-8).
ith this mother's quote, Randall eludes to the danger that is racism. The mother strives to protect her child and…… [Read More]
hey conform to religious convention and display actions that are just that; actions without any sincere faith to support them. For many, there is little distinction between a public display of faith and its sincere manifestation in the heart. It is this dichotomy that Langston learns about on his "conversion" day. He learns that, to satisfy the public, it is required that an insincere of faith should be displayed.
As mentioned above, the story is timeless in terms of how religious ardour is viewed by the masses. Many regard a certain display of faith as a necessary measure of a person's value, regardless of whether this faith is sincere or not. For many, faith has become a matter of catering for public expectation. Langston's aunt and all the other church members were ecstatic when he finally succumbed to their expectations and pretended to be converted. However, their ecstasy was his…… [Read More]
protagonist in Langston Hughes' poem "I, Too, Sing America" does, indeed, emphasize the delicate situation that he is in as a result of his skin color. The poem is meant to relate to racism in the early twentieth century while demonstrating that African-Americans were willing to stand their grounds even with the fact that society was generally inclined to discriminate them at the time. What role do you feel that this poem and Hughes in general played in raising awareness among African-Americans living in stressful conditions where it was difficult for them to express their feelings freely? Do you consider that the protagonist's optimism induced similar feelings in the African-American community during the period or do you believe that people actually felt that they will not live to see reform happening?
What fueled particular African-Americans in wanting to stand up for their rights while the majority of individuals belonging to…… [Read More]
America Be America Again
Langston Hughes, an African-American poet and social writer, was one of the world's most important interpreters of the African-American experience in the United States during the decade prior to orld ar II and the subsequent civil rights movement. Hughes publishes a variety of famous works, including the though-provoking poem, let America Be America Again." In this poem, Hughes shows a strong awareness of the American dream yet talks about it as if it were a thing of the past, even to those who had once believed in it and even profited from it. Hughes cleverly uses a method of physical disconnection to demonstrate how Negroes, at the time, never experienced the American Dream. "It was never America to me." Hughes' writing style is very influenced by his race and culture, showing hints if jazz and blues in the poem.
Many critics say that Hughes' poem is…… [Read More]
Lindon Barrett's insightful review of Langston Hughes autobiography, The Big Sea, deals with the complex themes of homoeroticism, the feminine, and subjectivity in Hughes' autobiography. Barrett notes that Hughes delves immediately into the theme of homoeroticism, in recounting his encounter with his stark naked bunkmate. Further, Barrett argues that not only the bunkmate's initial bragging, but a later scene of rape help to subordinate the feminine within Hughes' autobiography.
Barrett delves into the homosociality of many of the scenes within The Big Sea, and notes that Hughes' "excessive figure of the feminine" (p. 396, Barrett) serves to cement questions about Hughes' sexuality
The subject of Barrett's review was the great American writer, Langston Hughes. Born in Missouri in 1902, Hughes wrote poetry, novels, short stories, and was deeply involved in jazz. His important works of poetry include The eary Blues (1926), and the Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (1994), while…… [Read More]
play "Tambourines to Glory," by Langston Hughes. Specifically it will discuss the significance of the work, and what Hughes was trying to say through his fiction.
TAMBOURINES TO GLORY
This is a comic book about religion and morals, not often subjects of comedy. Critics have often called Hughes dramatic works "folk plays," and "Tambourines to Glory" is no exception. In fact, Hughes himself said about the work in the program notes, it was "a fable, a folk ballad in stage form... -- if you will, a comic strip, a cartoon -- about problems which can only be convincingly... presented very cleanly, clearly, sharply, precisely, and with humor'" (Peterson 346).
The protagonists are two women who pose as sisters and decide to start a church, not for spiritual salvation or a great belief in the Lord, but for money. "Money! I sure wish I had some. Say Essie, why don't you…… [Read More]
Lament for Dark Peoples by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes is widely known for his simple and open poems with messages that are not coated in so many artistic and figurative language and imagery. During the 1920s as many poets turned inward and wrote covertly, Langston chose to go outward and speak extrovertly about his subject. He is a poet who is preoccupied with the reclaiming of the pride of the dark skinned people and asserting their identities in the fast changing world and the apparent segregation that was manifest in the early 1920s. In most of his poem he identified the recognition of the origin of the dark skinned people, Africa, as being the distant past that should have remained and the dark skinned people would not have had trouble as they were in the foreign land.
This poem under study is not an exemption to the subject matter that…… [Read More]
Hughes and Orwell
hen looking for similarities between authors, it is not immediately brought to mind to look at Langston Hughes and George Orwell. The former was a major writer during the Harlem Renaissance. Most of his work focused on explorations of the black experience in the United States and how African-Americans were mistreated by the white majority. Orwell was an English writer and most of his writing dealt with social commentary on the dangers of fascism and totalitarian governments. However, in two works by these very different men, a parallel can be viewed. Langston Hughes' "Salvation" and George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" both deal with a first-person narrator who is forced by those around him into becoming an outsider, someone outside of the group opinion, and is forced to lie about his true self and his own beliefs in order to fulfill the desires of those who surround him.…… [Read More]
" The drying up of the dream like a raisin suggests that the spirit of someone who is the victim of prejudice experiences a kind of living death, with all vital forces sucked away from his or her sprit like dried fruit. The dream can also "crust over" like something sweet, implying the false face that African-Americans must put on to live in America. (a Raisin in the Sun, the Lorraine Hansberry play that uses a line from the poem as its title, portrays one of the central characters, a chauffer named alter Lee, as a man filled with rage who must smile and cater to whites in his job).
This contrast between sweetness and reality is even more dramatically depicted in "Strange Fruit," where images of the old, genteel South of Magnolia trees are starkly juxtaposed against the image of a dead, African-American male: "Scent of magnolias, sweet and…… [Read More]
Hughes' poems. Don't tell us about theme or how you relate to it. Tell us about the form of the poem. Name and define some of the elements of the form. Tell us about its attributes and history, what Hughes' influences were in this poem, and so on. Can you find Whitman's influence here, where and how?
Langston Hughes was one of the great artists of this period, and the themes of Black identity and frustration against slavery and discrimination can be seen in many of his poems as, for instance, the famous one of "Bound No'th Blues"
In the poem "Bound No'th Blues" (http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/bound-no-th-blues/), the rhythm supports the pome's theme of the woman's fatigue and loneliness. The poem reiterates: "Road, road, road, O!
Road, road…road…road, road!
Road, road, road, O!"
The road is ongoing and eternal; there is no end to this.
The words are truncated. The sentences are…… [Read More]
Claude McKay and Langston Hughes became like two poster boys for the Harlem enaissance. They burst from the "Harlem Shadows" and underground jazz world into the mainstream, crossing the racial divide to find support and fame not only in America but all over the world. Their poems, however, like African-American music, were co-opted by white culture and exploited for aims entirely divorced from the ethnicity that justified the poems existence in the first place. And, as McKay's own life shows, when the poetry took a deeper, less visceral, more theological turn, the poet was rejected by that same white (Protestant) establishment, which seemed to only want a "jungle fever" type of poetry. This demand of the surrounding white culture is what led the Harlem poets to have a "double consciousness" regarding their poetry. To make it to the top, they still needed the support of the…… [Read More]
Frost, Hughes, Alexie
The Meaning of "Home" in Frost's "Hired Hand," Hughes' "Landlord" and Alexie's "I ill Redeem"
Robert Frost writes in "The Death of the Hired Hand," "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in" (122-3). Implicit in these lines is the notion that "home" carries certain rules. "Home" is not just a place devoid of higher meaning, but an abstract idea -- a concept bound by a principle of belonging, of submitting, of caring. Just as Langston Hughes shows in "Ballad of the Landlord" (with the tension between negligent landlord and suffering tenant) or as Sherman Alexie shows in "hat You Pawn I ill Redeem" (Jackson sharing a portion of his winnings with Mary, whom he considers family -- "It's an Indian thing"), the principles of "home" are understood and upheld by those who realize its deeper meaning.…… [Read More]
Hurston and Hughes
The United States has a history of racist policies towards African-Americans and other minorities. The predominant ruling class of this country has always been wealthy white Christian men. In order to sustain this position of power, all other minorities whether those be based on skin color, gender, or religion have been marginalized and classified as other. This othering has engendered a feeling in those people of the marginalized groups a feeling that in the United States, particularly in the first one hundred years of the nation's history, those othered people have minimal importance and are inferior to the people in power. riters Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston were both part of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and their works reflected the mentality of the oppressed African-Americans living in the United States at a time when they were still a marginalized people. Using her short story…… [Read More]
Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman
Who is the speaker in this poem? What are his/her concerns/feelings? What words in the poem give you this impression of the speaker?
The speaker of "A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman is the poet himself. The poet is watching a spider weave its web and muses about how this is a metaphor for his own soul seeking out new things.
Does the poem convey any particular sensory images (sight, smell, sound)? What words convey that image?
The language of the poem suggests unfurling and unreeling through the use of repetition and alliteration when describing the spider: "It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, / Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them." The focus of the poem is on visual elements, as Whitman is observing the spider.
Q3. Is there a message in the poem? What words convey that message?
Whitman…… [Read More]
Langston Hughes is one of America's foremost storytellers. In the short story, Salvation, (Hughes, Smythe, and Smythe, 1960)Hughes paints a picture that has comic overtones as well as a deeper commentary of the religious, social and cultural sentiments of the time. Hughes portrays himself as the protagonist in the story. He is a little boy who is brought to his Aunt Reed's church so that he might be "touched by the Lord" and experience Jesus as the apostles and early Christians did at the Christian feast of the Pentecost. (SundaySchoolessons.com, 2004) Aunt Reed describes in great detail how being touched by Jesus would feel. "And Jesus came into your life! And God was with you from then on! She said you could see and hear and feel Jesus in your soul." This is the experience that young Langston feels when he sits in the hot church on that summer day.…… [Read More]
Race in Poetry
A Topic of Constant Relevance
The importance of race in the United States is discussed on many levels, from nightly newscasts to political campaigns to courtrooms. It is the conversation that never ends in this nation. The particulars change, a little, but the cadence is the same, and the sorrows are the same, and the regrets and anger persist. It seems likely that in a thousand years (if there is an America in a thousand years) that our national dialogue will still be about race. This paper examines a set of poems that take up the issue of race.
While poetry is hardly likely to be the first thing that one thinks of when seeking to understand race in America, the two poems analyzes here both make trenchant points about what it is like to be a person of color in the United States. This paper analyzes…… [Read More]
Blue Terrance" by Terrance Hayes and "The eary Blues" by Langston Hughes both use the blues as a metaphor for human existence. The 'blues' are a historically African-American form of musical expression that pairs sorrow with expressive music, and is considered one of the greatest contributions of African-Americans to musical culture. However, the authors' uses of the blues as a metaphor are different. Hayes uses the blues to express his own, personal pain of romantic rejection and his difficulties in life, although he clearly sees his attraction to the blues as a natural extension of his African-American identity. Hughes, in contrast, takes a more expansive view of the blues, and sees all African-Americans as united in the blues. hen he sees a solitary blues singer, he identifies with the man, and eventually by the end of his poem, his identity and the identity of the singer are united by the…… [Read More]
Night funeral in Harlem: When the funeral was completely over and the boy's coffin was carried out to the hears, which drove too fast down the street, the streetlight even seemed like it was crying for the boy. He was well-loved by everyone, and their love made the funeral magnificent, even if things looked more poor.
Connotation: The meaning behind the literal sense of the poem seems to be that despite what hardships, disadvantages, and unfairness, human relationships are the really important things that make us rich. The words that Hughes uses juxtaposes symbols of money, greed, and death with love, friendship, and life -- insurance men with satin boxes, flowers and the greedy preacher man, etc. This implies that many people just don't understand what's really important.
Devices: As stated above, the rhyme and meter of the poem enhance the poem's varying meanings. In addition, the use of repetition…… [Read More]
Harlem Dancer" and "The eary Blues"
Times Change, but the Struggle is Still the Same
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and political movement during the 1920s and 1930s that sought to celebrate African-American culture through literary and intellectual means. Two of the era's prominent poets were Claude McKay and Langston Hughes. Their poetry helped to highlight the struggles that African-Americans were faced with. In "The Harlem Dancer," written by McKay, and "The eary Blues," written by Hughes, the poets use music as a backdrop for the narratives of their poems. Although the blues, as music, are not limited to African-Americans, the style emerged from the experiences of African-Americans. Furthermore, the Harlem Renaissance sought to celebrate these experiences by bringing together the struggles of past generations and juxtaposing them with the struggles that younger generations were going through. "The Harlem Dancer" and "The eary Blues" are depictions of the struggles…… [Read More]
Frank tocktons and Langston Hughes. It has 2 sources.
Comparing the two characters, the king's daughter in Frank tocktons' "The Lady or the Tiger," and Nancy Lee in Langston Hughes' "One Friday Morning," one can predict their actions considering their social positions. This is possible because of the life patterns that both the characters exhibit.
Nancy Lee is a character in 'One Friday Morning' who believes in hard work to get to where she does. It is clear too that she is talented too. However, due to the fact that she lives in a period during which people like her are discriminated against she is denied opportunities that she fully deserves. This can be something quite discouraging for her, but she manages to emerge as one of the best students in her class. Her work was also well appreciated so much so that her teachers felt that she should be…… [Read More]
e are consuming too many of our natural resources and our use of fossil fuels threaten the survival of our planet. The developing world seems to placing further strains upon the earth, with no signs of abatement in population growth or industrialization. e are torn apart by nationalism rather than united as a species, in the Middle East, in Africa, and Eastern Europe. e have more material goods, but less spiritual satisfaction.
In answer to all of these questions, we must look to the persona of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, first and foremost, grappled with issues afflicting the region, and the cultures and faiths that are most troubling to the geopolitical crisis of today, namely the tensions between the Muslim and Hindu populations of East Asia. He also provided many solutions to all peoples, not just his own. His philosophy of nonviolence inspired Martin Luther King Jr. He also embraced people…… [Read More]
Mulatto" by Langston Hughes is that the figure of the tragic mulatto highlights the contradictions of white society in his presence and person: both during the era in which the poem is set and also during the Harlem Renaissance when Hughes wrote. The significance of the work lies in the fact that for the first time blacks in America were able to have a distinct literary voice after being oppressed and denied literacy and social agency even after the end of slavery. "Hughes used his writing to reflect his thoughts about political injustices, racial oppression, poverty, the black experience, family, and work" (Flick 1).
The poem "Mulatto" is a dramatic monologue, a poem which is not narrated in the voice of the poet like a lyric work but instead assumes the role of another character, often one who is marginal and despised, like the murderer of Robert Browning's "My Last…… [Read More]
Huges in week five, tell us about one of Neruda's poems. Don't tell us about teme or ow you relate to it. Tell us about te form of te poem. Name and define some of te elements of te form. Tell us about its attributes and istory, wat are Neruda's influences in tis poem, and so on. Can you find Witman's influence? How is it revealed in ways comparable to Huges? You'll ave to do some researc and attribute it in MLA style. You'll ave to make specific references to Neruda's poem to clarify and exemplify wat you are saying about is form. You'll need a tesis.
Neruda was a politician, social activists and poet and is poetry often follows many of tese influences. In fact, is politics - were e espoused Communism and sougt to free te Cilean people - was often confused wit love poetry were is love…… [Read More]
Nothing stays with us in life as powerfully as the images of our parents we take with us into adulthood. A harsh father, a loving mother, a single parent who was on the edge of exhaustion, but always available... The emotions attached to these memories affect our adult decisions. These recollections influence how we see ourselves, who we believe we can be in the adult world, and who we see when we look in the morning mirror.
In the equity of the universe, it seems unfair that the species which spends the most time in its home before heading into the world is most influenced by its parents. When looking across the animal kingdom, lion cubs are ready to hunt for themselves after a number of months. Sea turtles are born on the beaches, devoid of any parental influence.
Those lucky enough to make it back to water are…… [Read More]
Expression of Meaning in the Poems of Langston Hughes and Robert Frost
Every poet writes to express a certain meaning, but the means of expressing that meaning can differ significantly. Two poets that show the differences that can occur are Langston Hughes and Robert Frost. These two poets are especially interesting to compare because they are opposites in regards to how they express their meaning.
Langston Hughes provides straightforward descriptions of real life, where the meaning is expressed in a direct way. In contrast, Robert Frost expresses meaning in an indirect way, where the meaning is below the surface with interpretation needed to uncover it. This major difference will now be described by considering several works from each poet.
The first poem that will be considered is "I, Too, Sing America" by Langston Hughes. In this poem, Hughes describes his experiences as a black man and how he is segregated…… [Read More]
Black Experience in American Culture
This is a paper that analyzes the black experience in American culture as presented by Hughes, Baldwin, Wright and Ellison. It has 20 sources in MLA format.
African-American authors have influenced American culture as they have come forward to present issues that the society would rather have forgotten. Authors such as ichard Wright alph Ellison, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin have come under fire as they have written about the racial and biased experiences throughout their life [Capetti, 2001] and through their narratives they have forged a link between the past, the present (themselves) and their future (the unborn generation).
These literary works are an effort on their part to prove to their nations that regardless of the perceived realities their existence and lives have valuable. The slave past some of these authors have had created a void in their lives that at times left…… [Read More]
In O'Connor short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the antagonist is an outlaw, in keeping with the frequent use of alienated members of society in Romantic poetry and literature. The alienated member of society is contrasted with the crass materialism and superficiality of the family the Misfit kills. The child June Star is so poorly brought up that she says: "I wouldn't live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks!" To the owner of the roadside restaurant the family stops at, and is punished dearly for her transgression by the author O'Connor with death.
Yet the grandmother, upon hearing of the story of the Misfit says: "hy you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!" The grandmother is said to "reached out and touch" the Misfit him on the shoulder, but the Misfit is said to have "sprang back as if…… [Read More]
American Modernism and the Edenic Themes
Langston Hughes and Jay Gatsby: Different Strokes for Different Folks in the Search for an Edenic orld
The search for Eden has always had an eternal quality since the development of primordial man. At times, this search has manifested itself as a quest for a promised land full of natural resources, while at others, it has taken the form of a journey seeking social acceptance and harmony. Either which way, man's search for Eden has always been motivated by a desire to secure material and emotional well-being. Though this search is not unique to the people of America, the promise held out by a vast, virgin continent and new beginnings led to the belief that a life in the pursuit of wealth and happiness was possible here. This great 'American Dream,' however, soon proved as susceptible to human greed, bigotry, and the struggle for…… [Read More]
ymbols and images should be identified from true events in order to strengthen the themes and premises of the story. Furthermore, a central theme should be identified from the events in order to help the reader understand the points that the author is trying to make.
In reading nonfiction, the reader requires imagination in order to connect the events and themes of the story to his or her own life for the purpose of personal enjoyment and growth. The reader should be able to identify the various themes and symbols that the author has chosen to include in the story, and to interpret these in order to understand the central points of the author's writing. The symbols in the works discussed for example relate directly to the ideas of separation, deceit and growth. The reader gains the most from stories that they are able to clearly interpret and understand. In…… [Read More]
African-American culture flourished during the Harlem Renaissance. Although often characterized by and punctuated with the “double consciousness” of being both black and an American, the work of Harlem Renaissance writers and poets was variable and diverse. Countee Cullen is unique among Harlem Renaissance poets. Many of his works reflect the English poetic traditions, even more so than American or African-American ones. “Cullen considered the Anglo-American poetic heritage to belong as much to him as to any white American of his age,” (“Harlem Renaissance: American Literature and Art”). Implicit in Cullen’s poetic styles and formats was the belief in a blended identity, and yet the poem “Simon the Cyrenian Speaks” shows that Cullen indeed did struggle with the double consciousness. Langston Hughes took a different approach than Cullen did, in terms of poetic style, subject matter, and approaches to race. Contrary to Cullen, Hughes believed “black poets should create a distinctive…… [Read More]
Dylan's "The Times they are a Changing," Hughes' "Harlem: A Dream Deferred," and Auden's "The Unknown Citizen" all investigate the themes of human goals, and the impact of society upon these goals. Hughes' poem provides an analysis of how the deferment of life goals by society can result in great destruction to both the individual and society. Auden's poem also looks at the loss of life goals, this time through the overarching control of a mechanized, soulless state and conformity. In contrast, Dylan's lyrics provide hope for the realization of dreams and hopes through social change.
In his poem, "Harlem: A Dream Deferred," Langston Hughes investigates the theme of the destructive impact of deferring dreams. In his first sentence, Hughes sets up a rhetorical question, "hat happens to a dream deferred?," and then sets about determining the effect of life goals that are delayed or put off. Clearly, Hughes wants…… [Read More]
"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. hile 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…… [Read More]
Message of Empowerment in Dream Deferred, Dreams, and Daystar
Dream Deferred (Harlem) by Langston Hughes, Dreams by Nikki Giovanni, and Daystar by Rita Dove are most often categorized as poetry offering insight into the frustration of African-Americans because of societies continuous oppression of their hopes, desires, and dreams. This is correct, but upon further examination one finds there is a deeper, more universal message among the prose...personal empowerment.
A person's individual capability must be fully developed before embarking on a revolution. Langston Hughes in A Dream Deferred warns of the danger involved when potential is subjugated. "What happens to dreams deferred" (Line 1) he asks. "Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?" Or fester like a sore and run" (Lines 3-5) The imagery is vivid, bringing a tangibility to the emotional death caused by a crushed spirit. The inevitable result of burying potential is a powder keg…… [Read More]
traits strike me immediately as a reader of this piece: the vocabulary and the sentence structure. There is a great fluidity of organization and thought to this essay. The vocabulary is chosen thoughtfully and is apt as well as appropriate. There is an immediate sense of flow and rhythm to the writing and to the ideas. It is evident that the author is considering the poets and the poetry with depth and gravity.
The analysis of the poetry is excellent. It is clear and concise. The ideas and observations move from one to another with logic and ease of transition. The flow of ideas is nearly seamless. The author should take notice of the misuse and misplacement of commas throughout the work. This is the strongest criticism of the essay: commas. Otherwise, the essay is quite superlative.
The author of this essay also does a fine job of interjecting quotations…… [Read More]
Injustices based on racial discrimination and gender bias in a democratic country sounds weird and hard-to-believe. However, what history has witnessed proves what nobody wants to hear or believe. This analytical research paper addresses grave issues concerning racial discrimination and gender bias pertaining to black vs. white and the related causes for the orld ar II as well as the prejudices that led to the Civil Rights Movement. Thus, the paper revolves around the popular poem "Mending all" by Robert Frost, addressing the issue of the racial conflict between blacks and whites in America. Poems by Langston Hughes will also be incorporated in the paper to better explain the black experiences before the II and Civil Rights Movement. The orks Cited appends seven sources in MLA format.
Among many renowned literary figures that understood the cost that the world is paying for racial prejudices and the rebellious nature…… [Read More]
Eat a Poem
At first, Eve Merriam's "How to Eat a Poem" seemed like an excuse for a silly metaphor. However, after reading the poem I realized that the poet does an excellent job in writing a poem about poetry. Its underlying message rings true: poetry should be devoured and savored fully for their personal impact. Poems should not be eaten delicately, as with "a knife or fork or spoon / or plate or napkin or tablecloth." They aren't elite gourmet meals, and they should not be treated, or read, that way. Rather, poems should be consumed without worrying about correct interpretations or analysis. The essence of a poem cannot be enjoyed if the reader is too polite and afraid, or too ready to throw away certain parts of it. I appreciated this because too often, people pick apart poems to try to eat them "politely."
Also, as Merriam states,…… [Read More]
Dinner Guest: Me
This poem was written by Langston Hughes, and it is about a black man who is having dinner with white people who are "ashamed" of being white, or so they say. The poet is trying to show the differences between the races, and how people say things they don't mean when they are trying to be fair and equal. Nobody is ashamed of being white, but it makes them feel better and more self-righteous to say that to a black man when they have dinner.
The narrator of the poem is the black man who is having dinner on Park Avenue in New York. The people he is having dinner with are rich, because there is lots of "fine" food and wine, and they live on Park Avenue and eat dinner at eight o'clock. That is how the poet shows that the people are wealthy and are…… [Read More]
Poetry is one of the most ancient of all the literary genres known to humanity, yet contemporary poems can still speak to occasions which grip the human consciousness in the here and now. I agree that this is manifested in Suheir Hammad's poem, in which she speaks directly to the reader about her experiences as an Arab-American in a post-9/11 world. Hammad's poetry is in the vernacular in the sense that it mimics human speech with its raw, angry quality, but poetic techniques are evident in the way that it uses repetition and colorful language.
"One more person ask me if I knew the hijackers.
One more motherfucker ask me what Navy my brother is in.
One more person assume no Arabs or Muslims were killed"
Poetry can rhyme and follow a strict format, such as a ballad or a villanelle, or it can pour out in uncontrolled free…… [Read More]
Secondly, even the beginning of the film presents an African motif. The drums that open the scene are representative for the ancient tribal singing and dancing. The same drums are present in Cullen's poetry, revealing a deep African symbol. Moreover, the drums also make the passage from the contemporary life in which the film is first set, to the imaginary and ancient time of slavery.
The characters are as well particularly chosen. For instance, Joe, a white skinned slave is important for pointing out the traditional individual that tries to escape his past, through all means possible. He rejects his mother, who is the embodiment of the African spirit, he worships a white God, Virgin Mary, and in the end, he takes on a position that implies behaving in a similar manner as the white oppressors.
Joe's mother, Nunu, represents in the film the symbol of the African heritage. She…… [Read More]
oneself through poetry can often prove to be a difficult task, and may be even harder to interpret. In this paper, the writer is able to successfully by creating a general theme of personal growth, transformation, and the confusion that may accompany this change. The writer is able to successfully and clearly explain why he chose the poets and the poems he chose, and clearly demonstrates their influence on the new poem.
The poem created by the author tells a story through his three poet inspirations. In the explanation, the writer states that he used Langston Hughes' "Theme for English B" to help establish the tone and pace of the inspired poem. The writer also states that he used Hughes' poem to develop a theme, which helped the writer to establish parameters. Because the writer successfully established a theme and gave an explanation of his reasoning, and provided a concrete…… [Read More]
ilfred Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum est" describes the horrors of orld ar One. ith rich imagery, the poet refers to the gory and horrid details of the "great war," such as "the blood / Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, / Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud," and "watch the white eyes writhing in his face, / His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin." Owen's commentary comes directly from personal experience, as the poet served as a soldier in orld ar One. Having witnessed the devastation and death he describes in "Dulce Decorum Est," the poet challenges the popular assumptions of war's glory, honor, and necessity. The title of the poem comes from a Latin phrase meaning "It is sweet and right." The phrase was often used in reference to the First orld ar, to promote morale among soldiers. Owen concludes that the phrase is truly…… [Read More]
At the same time Bernice doesn't tell her daughter the history of the heirloom, in fear of waking the spirit. This means that even Bernice is not using her legacy positively, but is afraid of it. Both characters are able to embrace their history with pride by the end of the play, as Boy illie comes to understand the Piano's significance and Bernice begins to play it again (Sparknotes.com)
3. The Little Foxes
a. Significance of the Title
Lillian Hellman was born in New Orleans and educated at New York and Columbia University. Her first success was the play 'The Children's Hour'; she was an active part of political activities and spoke openly about her ideals. 'The Little Foxes' brought her greater fame and reflects her opinion of and her remembrances of the South (kirjasto.sci.fi).
The play is a satire or a criticism of the machinations of capitalists who live…… [Read More]
Two Poet Writers from Harlem enaissance
Many people familiar with Langston Hughes' works refer to him as the literature Nobel laureate of Harlem because of the way he accurately captured Harlem's passions, moods and events. However, his works were never provincial. By telling the story of Harlem through his poems, he shed light on truths that were important to people from all backgrounds.
Langston Hughes was without a doubt one of the main figures of the Harlem enaissance -- the 1920s' blossoming of arts and culture among people of color that happened in that New York area. Hughes knew for sure that being black was beautiful and powerful and for this reason he did all he could to advocate for the cause of all the other people who mainstream white artists had pushed out of the public's eye (Langston Hughes: Harlem enaissance).
Langston's professional career took off in…… [Read More]
He established a manner of writing that some have called the Hughesian method. This method included a number of ways of looking, seeing and observing the physical aspects on individualized life.
One of the tenets of the Hughesian method is to establish the student writer's own unique standpoint, but not in the abstract sense of "perspective," "opinion," or "feeling." Hughes had his writing students look closely at themselves, not as others see them but as they feel and think about themselves in relation to the world" (Scott 31).
Hughes was not only effective in inducing his students into being more observant and thinking more about the concrete nature of their being, but he was also able to set an example for them in the use of stylized rhythm. His style was often referred to as est African rhythmized textiles and included a simple but elegant type of off-beat statements. Some…… [Read More]