Langston Hughes Poems

A Large Role of Langston Hughes in Creating Equal Rights for African Americans

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

Langston Hughes was an author in the Harlem Renaissance, a movement where African American authors were able to prove themselves as intelligent writers and tell others what they believed in. He was a lead poet in this movement and had the platform to encourage and give advice to other authors. Not only did Hughes use his own writings to share his belief in equal rights, but he was able to have a large influence in the lives of other African American writers and encourage all Americans to stop racial oppression.

Often times, when fighting for their freedom, black writers would try to make themselves look perfect in order to measure up to every other American. Though this is understandable, Langston Hughes asks them to simply be themselves, both through their actions and writings. It was important that they embraced their culture and background, not hide it to “fit in.” While some people listened to him or at least attempted to do so, many continued to do the same thing they had always done because they believed that it would help the fight for freedom. Hughes kept encouraging them, saying, “Perhaps the mission of an artist is to interpret beauty to people – the beauty within themselves.” (Hughes, Life According to Langston Hughes) It is important that people view these writers by their true beauty, not by them trying to be someone they are not.

In all of Hughes’ works, he was careful to display his feelings while encouraging others. In his poem I, Too, Hughes set the story in a dining room. Because of his skin color, he is not allowed to sit at the dinner table when company comes, but he continues to have hope that someday, this will change. Summing up the story, Hughes says, “They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed—I, too, am America.” (Hughes, I, Too) This one quote encompasses everything he believes in. In this short excerpt, Hughes is saying that when there are finally equal rights, white people will realize the value African Americans bring – not only to writing, but to life.

Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes, is a poem written that addresses everyone fighting for their freedom. Written from a mother to her son, it is said, “Don’t you set down on the steps ‘Cause you finds it’s kinder harder. Don’t you fall now – For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” (Hughes, Mother to Son) In the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes played the role of the mother from this poem. He was the one who encouraged other writers to continue to fight for what they believe. Though it may be hard, he knows that it would be worth it in the end. Black rights were important to him, which caused him to not only write about it himself, but to encourage others to do the same.

Langston Hughes knew the importance of telling others about his struggles as an African American. Often times, people of different races, religions, and socioeconomics are oppressed simply because other people do not understand what it is like to live in their shoes. They do not know how they were raised nor the hardships their differences bring. This is why informing others, whether through voice, writing, or any other type of art, is vital. In the days of Hughes, white people didn’t understand everything African Americans had to go through or why their fight for freedom was so important to them. But through Hughes and other writers, they were exposed to the lives of African Americans. They were able to hear their thoughts, struggles at school and home, and their desire to have the opportunity to live like the rest of America. Without people speaking up for what they believe in, there would be little change in our world today. Langston Hughes played a large role in creating equal rights for African Americans and due to his boldness, he was able to convince others to speak up for change, as well.

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The Analysis of the Poem “The Weary Blues” by Langton Hughes

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

Have you ever listened to a man singing the blues?For this assignment our job was to do a critical analysis of certain required poems, of the required poems I chose “The Weary Blues.”This poem is all bout a man singing the blues and his feelings while doing it. We were told to focus on one area while analyzing our poem, for example tone, characters, theme, the setting, etc. so for this poem I chose to focus on the tone. With this essay I am going to give the reader a clear understanding on the ways I broke down Langston Hughes writing in this poem and why. I will also clarify some of the words that he uses to get a better understanding of what he means and how it ties into the tone. I will give a brief summary of what I think the theme of this poem is, only to tie how the tone supports it. Overall, after reading this analysis I hope that my reader will have a full break down and understanding on the conclusions that I have drawn from Langton Hughes, “The Weary Blues” poem.

From what I gathered the theme of this poem is a about the narrator watching, listening to, and describing the character that that has the blues and is actually singing the blues on the main street in his town. The author portrays this man as a skillful man that that is sorrowful about his current state in his blues about his life. Through the words and meanings of the words, the author portrays this man as very down and unhappy about his life at this point. So in the remainder I will be giving you specific examples of how and why I believe the author conveyed this.

As stated above for my poem I chose to focus on tone. This is because, while reading this story it invoked a very distinct emotion and mood on me and according to Webster’s online dictionary that is indeed what tone means. Specifically it read, “accent or inflection expressive of a mood or emotion.” So, I took it literally, even the title I took literally. The title “The Weary Blues” the word weary means “having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted,” can you imagine? Then the word blues meaning “low spirits.” So by definition this poem is entitled The Exhausted Low Spirits. Wow, how rum dum, this title even gives one the sense of being so low and down in spirits, so low that even the feeling of having low spirits is exhausted. What’s beyond the feelings of being depressed, down, and sad? How low can a human being feel? Whatever the answer is to those questions that is what the author is trying to portray with the way this poem is written, and just like in the title. Those definitions really tie into how the narrator describes the main character in this poem. Those descriptive words, exhausted, having low spirits, depressed, down, etc really describe this character. In the character says “I ain’t happy no mo’ ” (line29), he also states, “I wish I had died” (line30).

That answers my question above of what’s beyond feeling depressed, down, sad, and having exhausted patience, tolerance, and pleasure. This character’s answer is death. That really gives the readers the sense of some really heavy emotions weighing on this character and even possibly on the reader some. It weighs on the reader because this is a human being that would rather die than feel how he feels, and that is deep, and it kind of makes us think of what really is this man going through that he wishes that outcome for himself. Sometimes I hear people tell a story of how someone so mean, and angry walks in the room and that kind of rubs off on them, well that is the intention of the author of this poem. When I read this poem the deep inset sorrow of these blues really rubbed off. One almost feels like they have the blues, or at least the down feelings after reading this. Another possible feeling that someone could experience after reading this is, like they are the one in the environment the author writes about. I say this because by how descriptive the author is with his words, he says, “the stars went out and so did the moon,” (line32). This gives us the image of this really sad man playing his piano way into the night, so late the moon and stars have already gone. Then he leaves it up to our (the reader’s) imagination to how late that is and what that looks like. That supports how he really gives us the feeling and imagery that we are in the environment.

Now I will talk more about the feelings that are encompassed in the tone. I don’t think he does the feelings of deep dark emotions in this poem to make us feel bad personally, but to feel what the characters in this poem are feeling, and to feel the type of environment experienced. The author does a very good job at portraying the tone in this poem. One way he does this is by his descriptive words. His words really draw a picture for us so that we can picture the scene he speaks of and really are able to understand it. Some of the words he uses to name a few are “drowning, drowsy, lazy, and sway.”(Lines6-35). All of these words give us the understanding of a mood of being very mellow, and even like the author wrote lazy. It seems as if the author put a lot into which words he used because he could’ve chose many other words that have similar definitions, but he chose these. One reason I assume he did this is because of his understanding of the English language and how we generally react given certain phrases and words. This is not saying that other people that are not English speaking originally will not read his poems or even understand it, but it is in fact in the English language and obviously written for us. For instance, If a person were to talk about 9/11, that means something and provokes specific emotions for us U.S. citizens so when one speaks of it to us they have that in mind, well that is the same type of situation with these very dark, depressing words, the provoke specific feelings in us. Obviously this is a generalization, but for the most part it is true.

Next, I will talk about why the tone of this poem is effective and why the tone is appropriate. Well, when I think of measuring the effectiveness of something, I think about two main components the results and was it enough information to even answer that question. For results I have my reactions to this poem. Did I get an understanding of what he was saying? Also, did I experience the intended feelings and emotions that the tone of this poem would bring? So for those questions my answer is yes. Not simply yes but yes for the reasons and through the examples I stated above. Above I showed how with and through his descriptions and words I was able to draw out a meaning and an image of the setting, tone, and character in this poem. When thinking about if the tone was appropriate, I thought about if he would have used a lighter, happier tone. For this poem that tone would not match and support his thesis as strongly as this tone did. Consequently, that really shows that he went the right way with his tone for this poem.

In conclusion, this poem was well written in all aspects. Grammatically, the author did a good job with his word choice, and the formation of his sentences. He did this by using slang words to give us an insight on the type of character this was (ex. “no mo” and “ain’t”), and choosing specific words to give an understanding of the physical appearance of the environment (ex. “The moon and stars went out” and “lazy sway”. I found these words really drew a mind picture for me. As far as having the desired outcome with the tone, he accomplished that by the many ways stated in this essay. Overall this was a very interesting poem to break down and analyze. I found the author’s word choice interesting because I kind of made you want to understand the main character and know why he felt the way he did. I found that the tone was really invasive. In the way that, even if you didn’t want to feel the emotions of this poem, you really didn’t have a choice because in order to get through the reading of this paragraph you have to understand the meaning of the words, and the words were found to invoke feelings and emotions. Every time I read through his poem I got more understanding of the environment, the character, the theme, and the tone. Obviously, there could be many ways of interpreting the meaning of this poem, but this is my take on the poem The Weary Blues.

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Literary Techniques in “Early Autumn” by Langston Hughes

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the story, Early Autumn, Langston Hughes employs different techniques to help convey the message that time can alter people and their relationships immensely. Using elements including varied syntax and descriptions of the characters, Hughes shows how the two character’s attitudes of one another changed from the time they last met.

Firstly, Hughes varies his sentence structure to show how time has changed Mary and Bill’s view on one another. A majority of the sentences are either concise or fragment sentences. This gives the paragraphs a quick and jumpy rhythm, which compares to the situation these two people are in. Meeting each other after a while of being apart, makes Mary and Bill’s conversation a little awkward. The short sentences and fragments reflect how uncomfortable the scenario is. The last paragraph shows Mary’s thoughts, and the syntax goes from a short sentence, to a longer one, and then two concise sentences. This change in the lengths of the sentences reveals how distraught Mary is about leaving Bill, not like she had been when they left each other before. The fragment “space and people” refers to the two things that divided them the first time; space being the “not very important thing” and people being the man Mary married.

Secondly, through descriptions of the characters, the author reveals how time can change people and their views. When Mary and Bill stopped talking to each other, Mary did not love Bill and thought she loved another man. In the story, Mary seems more interested in Bill than she had been when they stopped seeing one another. This is shown when Hughes describes Mary as “unconsciously” lifting “her face as though wanting a kiss.” Throughout the time spent away from each other and with other people, Mary’s opinion of Bill has changed. She kept “desperately” wanting to go “back into the past” when they first were dating, almost as if she is nostalgic of their time together. The last line of the story explains Mary’s thoughts of how she regrets not telling Bill that one of her children is named after him. This key description reveals how Mary now feels affection towards Bill, unlike how she felt when they ended the relationship.

Similar to how Mary’s feelings changed, Bill’s perspective on Mary changes during their time spent apart. When the relationship first ended Bill was heartbroken, but when they meet again, Bill seems courteous but distant, like he no longer feels any previous emotions towards Mary. Hughes conveys this by how Bill describes Mary in his thoughts. No longer is Mary the young love Bill once adored; now he thinks of her as “so old” and did not even recognize her when they greet. Hughes shows how Bill is still decent towards Mary, for when Mary speaks, he smiles “politely,” resembling an acquaintance more than an old lover.

When Mary left the relationship she did not love Bill she thought she loved another man. when they met again she seemed more into Bill than before when Bill left the relationship he did love Mary. when they met again he thought she looked old and had none of the past feelings he felt.

In conclusion, Hughes does a remarkable job of showing how time can change people and their perspective about other people, using techniques such as different sentence structure and acute character descriptions. This insight helps reveal how Mary went from feeling distant from Bill to having feelings for him, while contrarily, Bill went from loving Mary to feeling indifferent towards her. Time can have a great effect on people that even relationships cannot withstand.

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“The Weary Blues”: What This Poem is About

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

“The Weary Blues.”

This poem is all about someone singing the blues and getting his feelings out while doing it. With this essay I am going to present to you a clear knowledge on the ways tone, rhyme and why I liked Langston Hughes writing in this poem. After reading and analyzing this I came to the conclusion that the theme of this poem is a about the speaker looking being attentive to and describing the person that has the blues and is truly making a song about his blues in this town. The storyteller paints a picture that this man is a skillful guy that is sorrowful down in his current kingdom of blues which gives him his existence. Through the words and meanings of the phrases the author portrays this man as very down and unhappy about his life at this time. I may be giving you examples of ways and why I agree with the author and how he told this poem.

I was reading this the title “The Weary Blues” the word weary means “having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted” can you imagine? Then the word blues meaning “low spirits.” So by definition this poem is entitled to be all about low sprits. One character says “I ain’t happy no mo’ ” (Hughes) he also states, “I wish I had died” (Hughes). This is beyond feeling depressed, down, sad, and having exhausted patience, tolerance, and pleasure Jazz music is often tied together with long drown out melodies and complex rhythmical patterns. The Blues is another type of jazz that also follows the same patterns. ‘The Weary Blues,’ is no exception to this style. The sound qualities that makes up this poems work are detailed but quite apparent as well. The authors use of consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia and rhyme in “The Weary Blues” gives this poem a deep kind of dark feeling of sorrow while at the same time it allows the reader to feel as if heshe are there actually listening and understanding his feelings through the blues that is being sung by him.

When thinking about if the tone was appropriate, I thought about if he would have used a lighter, happier tone. For this poem that tone would not match and support his thesis as strongly as this tone did. That really shows that he went the right way with his tone for this poem. This is the poem I choose because recently I’ve been going through a tough time where I couldn’t show my emotions. This poem is symbolic of a black men struggling and I felt that because I’ve been struggling to so I connected with this poem way more than any other we’ve read.

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A Analysis of Langston Hughes’s Collection of Poems – Allusion, Dramatic Monologue, and Imagery in I, Too

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

‘I, Too’ by Langston Hughes is a short poem that talks about a man who is hidden from guests but later comes to be accepted. The poem was written during the period of the Harlem Renaissance; a time when writers from the black community had started rising from obscurity. The talents of African American writers and artists were beginning to be recognized and appreciated by the greater artistic community. The poem itself greatly exemplifies this period in its theme. Langston Hughes aptly uses allusion, dramatic monologue and imagery to mold the poem into an extended metaphor on overcoming oppression.

Allusion is used by many poets to point to a particular idea they want to express without directly stating it. We see allusion right from the start of the poem when the author writes, “I, too, sing America” (line 1). From this line the reader is immediately reminded of the poem by Walt Whitman, ‘I hear America Singing’ (Whitman & Holloway, 1942). In the poem, Whitman talks about the singing of different people in society. All these people sing their various songs, and it comes together to form a sort of a chorus that represents being American (Whitman & Holloway, 1942). Hence, when Hughes writes “I, too, sing America” he also sees himself as part of the chorus singing about being American. This allusion is meant to show that the black man is as American as everyone else and hence should not be oppressed and treated as a second class citizen.

Using dramatic monologue Hughes gives the theme of the poem a firsthand experience feel. The author uses ‘I’ many times throughout the poem, “But I laugh” (line 5), “I’ll be …” (line 9). The author also uses ‘they’ instead of a particular term as a name, “They send me …” (line 3), and “They’ll see …” (line 16). These terms give the reader the sense that the author is speaking of their plight hence giving more credibility to the message. The reader can empathize with the person as they overcome their obstacles to rise to be equal with their oppressor, “I’ll be at the table” (line 9).

There is a lot of metaphor and imagery throughout the poem that help to shape its theme. The author uses the first person ‘I’ in the poem. The ‘I’ does not represent the author himself but can be interpreted to represent a larger grouping of people. “I am the darker brother” (line 2), darker here represents the African American community and not evil, as in dark soul. “Tomorrow” (line 8) is a metaphor for the future, a hopeful future where all people will be equal. “They’ll see how beautiful I am” (line 16), here the author is not talking about physical beauty but the inner beauty such as talent, skills, humanity. “They send me to eat in the Kitchen” (line 3), this line reminds the reader of the times of slavery when the black man was not allowed to share anything with the white man including toilets and roads. The use of imagery in the poem shows the reader that the black man in the oppressed party but he has hope that one day he will overcome the oppression and sit as an equal to the white man.

Langston uses his literary skills to mold the poem to give encouragement to anyone that no matter how oppressed they are, eventually their beauty will shine throw and they will rise above. The reader is shown how even when the oppressor may see you as worthless, they should bide their time and improve themselves for their opportunity to shine will come. The author’s mastery of poetic elements gives the poem a firm foot on which to become the pillar of a whole community.

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The Morals and Symbolism in Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

Morals are the qualities and virtues that assist everyone with having an equitable existence. Virtues ought to be taught in youth so they have a solid establishment, and life is instilled with the qualities. Virtues help in the embellishment of our lives and stepping on the way of exemplary nature and prudence. At the point when we live by virtues directly from youth, they become a piece of our lives, and assist us with doing the privilege and spare ourselves from wrong. Morals assist us with making the right choices in life’s difficult circumstances and sail through life effectively as they provide us a feeling of guidance and reason. For example, in the story Thank You Ma’am, it shows how the women handle the situation with the kid. Calmly, with class and respect. This story is an awesome example of how everyone should act with decency. The story can also be with symbolism like religion ad values. A golden rule that is taught thought the first dawn of times. In Thank You Ma’am, is representing morals due to the setting, tone, and symbols.

‘Thank You Ma’am’ is a short story composed by Langston Hughes and distributed in 1958. Even though Hughes doesn’t expressly state what the setting of the story is, there are a few pieces of information that demonstrate the general spot and timeframe. For a certain something, the story was distributed in 1958, and the subjects of Langston Hughes’ work frequently rotate around the lives of African Americans in isolated America, so we can derive that this story is likely set during the 1950s. Moreover, Roger needs to purchase ‘blue softened cowhide shoes,’ which is presumably a reference to an Elvis Presley melody of a similar title, prevalent during the 1950s. In light of a portion of the portrayals and language utilized, current peruses will get the feeling that this story happens in the glue. In the story, she says, “Now here, take this ten dollars and buy yourself some blue suede shoes. And next time, do not make the mistake of latching onto my pocketbook nor nobody’s else’s – because shoes got by devilish ways will burn your feet.” (Hughes p3) The more explicit setting of the story is around evening time, first on the road where Roger attempts to take Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones’ handbag and in this way in her room in a lodging where she nourishes Roger, informs him regarding her life, and gives him cash to purchase the shoes he needs.

Mrs. Jones could have called the police on Roger, roger who attempts to take her tote, yet she chooses to treat him with sympathy and empathy. She encourages him, gives him a spot to tidy himself up, and gives him grace when she gives him the cash he needs to buy the shoes he needs. Mrs. Jones concedes that she, as well, has done a few things that she isn’t glad for, declining to pass judgment on the kid cruelly for his slip-up. Accordingly, she is introduced as a fantastically mindful and keen person who relates to others instead of deciding between them, and this causes it to appear as if Langston Hughes especially endorses her activities. For example, in the story, before he leaves, she says, “When I get through with you, sir, you are going to remember Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.”(Hughes p3). Luella shows authority, and honor to roger so he can realize not to mess with her ever again. She shows Roger thoughtfully, as somebody who has not had numerous chances to learn in his life as opposed to as some youthful crook.

Lastly, in the story, three symbols represent the story’s morals, symbols, and values. These three symbols can be used as an example of today’s society, with friends and family. First, the blue suede shoes symbolize a need that this kid was attempting to get. It adds inspiration to why the kid took the tote that can lead the kid to be acting egotistically or blaming that. He should have asked before acting rebellious just like Mrs. Luella said “Well, you didn’t have to snatch my pocketbook to get some suede shoes,” said Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. “You could of asked me.” (Hughes p2) The second symbol is Mrs. Jones’s bag. It speaks to a touch of the ‘goal’ that Roger was attempting to accomplish. It includes a practically prodding piece of the story for Roger. Mrs. Jones was enormously confiding in him notwithstanding nearly getting her handbag taken. The last symbol, Mrs. Jones. She speaks to a compelling yet nurturing figure to the story. She includes a contention, yet besides a settling piece to the story. I discovered that you ought to be thoughtful to individuals in any event, when they act malignantly. Here is a bonus symbol from the story, Mrs. Jones leaving her door open. It speaks to the trust that Mrs. Jones was providing for Roger. It includes the plausibility of an awful closure of the story, an ‘imagine a scenario in which.’ Trust is a decent exercise for individuals.

“The boy wanted to say something else other than “Thank you, ma’am” to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, but he couldn’t do so as he turned at the barren stoop and looked back at the large woman in the door. He barely managed to say “Thank you” before she shut the door. And he never saw her again.” (Hughes p3) Maybe what Langston Hughes was proposing in ‘Thank You, Ma’am’ is that the result for youngsters who carry out violations could be improved if grown-ups were more put resources into them and needed to know the reasons that impelled them to go after others. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is an uncommon ‘normal’ lady; however not wealthy herself, she doesn’t capitulate to the normal feelings of dread or outrage after Roger attempts to take her wallet. Mrs. Bates sees that Roger is disregarded; his face is grimy, and he reveals to her that nobody is at home. Subsequently, she nourishes him and urges him to tidy himself up. At the point when she asks Roger for what valid reason he required cash, he concedes that he needed some new shoes. Rather than communicating shock or addressing him, she gives him cash for the shoes, pardons him, and releases him.

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How It Feels to Be Colored Me and I, Too: Color Doesn’t Define Identity

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

Pride is evident in all aspects of literature. It can be interpreted or expressed in many different ways. On the contrary, identity is a way a person identifies as or a set of characteristics that can help elucidate why a person may choose to do something. Two works of literature that have elements of pride and identity, is the poem, “I’ too” by Langston Hughes, and excerpt, “How It Feels To Be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston. Pride can be inner-related to identity as it is can be the key to overcoming barriers, specifically related to these works. Both African American writers use forms imagery and theme in a detail orientated way, to express their emotions and feelings. Both Hughes and Hurston exhibit pride and identity through their work and reveal themselves with similarities and their personal experiences of how it is like to be a member of the Negro community.

In the poem “I’ Too” by Langston Hughes, he emphasizes the idea that blacks are invariably segregated from all other groups. He identifies himself as “the darker brother,” and also states, he too “sing[s], America” (Hughes np). The use of imagery being illustrated by the narrator is the inevitable, that he is darkest person amongst the rest, but is “singing” the change for the future of America. Along his last lines he states, “I, too, am America” (Hughes np). The author is implying that discrimination is no longer valid and everyone is equally as important, as he too is a part of America. Morris Dickstein states, “Hughes took pride in being a ‘race man’” (np). Throughout the poem his tone is assertive and illustrates his head always held up high and strong. In other words, he manifests that being different and not having the privilege to eat with the rest, is not a validation to make him feel any less of a tenacious human being. He does not internally accept the perspective others have of him or the way he is being treated, because in the end he too was “at the table” (Hughes np). Hughes’s structures his poem to show readers the importance of pride and to value ourselves as individuals.

In similar fashion, Hurston’s excerpt, “How It Feels To Be Colored Me” exhibits the idea of pride in different encounters. After being sent to a new school in Jacksonville at the age of 13, Hurston surely found herself as “a little colored girl” (Hurston np). The American society surrounded by her, made her feel a certain type of way which she never felt to be a problem externally, while growing up in the little Negro town. Although she is a person of color, her racial identity never seemed to be anything more stating, “BUT I AM NOT tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all” (Hurston np). In other words, the narrator does not find herself to be extremely distressed and does not pity herself, as she embraces her color and disregards those judging behind her back. Hurston does not view her color as a sign of anguish and knows that she is beautiful and of value. With the acknowledgment of the past, she chooses to move forward and takes upon herself the hardships that may come along. “It fails to register depression with me. Slavery is sixty years in the past… I am off to a flying start and I must not halt in the stretch to look behind and weep. Slavery is the price I paid for civilization, and the choice was not with me. It is a bully adventure and worthi.all that 1 have paid through my ancestors for it. No one on earth ever had a greater chance for glory. The world to be won and nothing to be lost” (Hurston np). Regardless of the fact that she is a granddaughter of slaves, she does not feel that slavery should be defined by her or let it overpower who she is; in addition, freedom was given to all slaves, therefore she rejects the fact that slavery should be a thought that comes across people’s minds when viewing her or those of color. Slavery was cruel and wrong but looking back at it and weeping is no way to erase history. Thus, Hurston feels prideful of who she is as a black individual and does not view herself antithetic amongst whites. She does not find herself feeling depressed for the way her people have been treated throughout history, but rather changes the perspective of letting it define her and chooses to move forward as an individual with her own set of beliefs.

Hughes explores the theme of identity in his poem “I, too.” Even though it is fairly short, the meaning of each line comes with great value and understanding. He mentions America numerous times implying that his identity and those of color, belong with the whites in unity. “Another aspect of this duality is Hughes’s varying attitudes toward blackness and a definition of black character… black is identified as beautiful” (Barisonzi 38). He uses the illusion of black being identified as beautiful to show shame to the white people who did not let him eat at the table. The inescapable reality of slavery will nonetheless always remain in history, but what Hughes is trying to convey in his poem is that with the finding of his identity through the act of the whites, he finds himself as beautiful and shames those who failed to recognize that before change was made in history. “When company comes, but I laugh and eat well, and grow strong” (Hughes, np). Hughes is transcending his human identity showing himself growing more as a human, rather than growing racially (Eggerling 5). Furthermore, through his confidence he shines a light on his African American identity with a positive outlook and is denying the perception the whites have of him nor grants to see himself through their lens. Thus, Hughes is contradicting society’s stereotypes and continues to embrace himself as a human being.

In the excerpt “How It Feels To Be Colored Me,” Hurston exhibits her identity when she is surrounded by a new group of people she only began to familiarize with during her early teens. She says, “I remember the very day that I became colored… The only white people I knew passed through the town going to or coming from Orlando” (Hurston np). After coming into contact with this group of people and attending school surrounding mainly by whites, she began to notice their actions towards her. Moreover, this racial group perpetually brings up the history of African Americans and identify Hurston with its context. Throughout the autobiography she explores her identity and displays amazing resistance to these stereotypes being brought up against her, stating, “for instance, when I sit in the drafty basement that is The New World Cabaret with a white person, my color comes…AT CERTAIN TIMES I have no race, I am me” (Hurston np). Similarly, with Hughes’s poem “I’ too,” Hurston also transcends her human identity and is growing as a person. Moreover, Hurston does not see her color as a barrier to grow into a person she wants to be. She writes, “the cosmic Zora emerges. I belong to no race nor time. I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads” (Hurston, np). In order for transcultural exchange to take place, Hurston must relinquish a part of her ethnic identity (Kam, 12). In other words, she feels she does not belong to a race and her identity as an African American does not define who she is as a human being. Thus, she must leave parts of her background in order to encompass with the American society.

Both Hurston and Hughes take pride in their identity and are challenged by their surroundings because of it. Racial identity was nothing more than just a term for both of these African American writers. In the poem “I, too,” Hughes criticizes the whites, but does so indirectly because he is dependent on their patronage. He paints unflattering portraits of them because of the way he is being treated during his enslavement (Kam, 147). Hughes draws attention to the behavior of the whites and shames them for it throughout the poem and especially when he is told to “eat in the kitchen” (Hughes, np). Hurston contradictory is found being conflicted with her identity in the aspect of finding herself or embracing her culture. She is constantly being reminded of who she is and the horrific past her relatives endured. Lucky for her, she did not go through slavery and was not born into it. Hurston does not find the color of someone’s skin to be significant. She demonstrates this form of imagery when she is describes herself sitting on the bench, “welcom[ing] to our state Floridian” (Hurston, np). Through this she is welcoming those that are passing through the Negro town of Eatonville but pays no attention to the color of their skin. Both texts, “I, too” and “How It Feels To Be Colored Me,” are “proved to be an important source of racial pride and leadership, not to mention an assertion of self-sufficiency in a white supremacist society that often rejected the possibility of black independence” (Edge, np). Moreover, Hurston and Hughes creatively express their feelings and their thoughts about their racial pride and take leadership of their own lives.

Pride and identity are evident in the two works of literature, “I’ too and “How it feels to be colored me.” Both writers use forms of imagery in their writings to show their emotions and feelings; furthermore, with gaining their independence, they were both able to tell their story in their own perspective using pride and identity. For Hurston she does not necessarily claim her African American ancestry to complete her race, like others might have. As a matter of fact, she claims her true identity through her own findings of her color and embraces who is as a person. Even though she faced many adversities, she chose to run towards African- American identity, rather than just her African- American racial identity. Correspondingly, Hughes with his eighteen- line poem, gives an indirect attention to the whites who are treating him poorly. He then imagines a future in which he is eating besides the rest, and no one will dare send him into the kitchen to eat alone. Thus, both texts uncover how it was like walking in the shadow of their experiences and being laughed at or called names due to their color or African American descent.

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The Human Development in Thank You Ma’am and Lottery

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

As the human condition is, far into history with our art and fascination for literature. Illustrating, weaving the fabric of our stories with the myriad planes of color, vibrance, illumination, twisted and turned together into a journey we all gracefully embrace. Some have already captivated these themes of setting, tone and point of view with the excellent choices of early post-moderism or full-post moderism and existentialism which personally I gravitate towards is ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jacking, ‘Thank you Ma’am’ by Langston Hughes, and ‘Pleasantville’ by Gary Ross. These stories exploit the ‘meaning’ having a reflection of our humanisms and psyche in specific prospects of time, giving us an eye-opening experiences otherwise we wouldn’t be able to without literature.

The early tone of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ is light, fun, and peaceful. Jackson’s opening sentence tells readers that the weather was perfect. ‘The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.’ That’s ‘go outside and play some catch’ weather. It makes you think of packing a basket of food, taking a blanket, and having a picnic. That single sentence likely brings a smile to most readers faces, especially readers who have been dealing with winter for a few months. The tone of ‘The Lottery’ is objective and detached. The narrator writes in the calm, journalistic style of a neutral bystander reporting on a scene they are not part of. This journalistic tone is set in the opening paragraph, which is full of facts—such as the date, (June 27th), how many people participate in the lottery, and how long it takes. Using this kind of deadpan narrative voice is an effective technique. The narrator stands back and lets readers experience the emotions that the ‘lottery’ elicits for themselves. This shocking event marks a dramatic turning point in how we understand the story. I think that Jackson uses stoning as a metaphor for the innate bloodlust that can lurk beneath a modern, civilized facade. But it’s a turning point in other ways as well. One critic notes that the ending transforms ‘The Lottery’ from realism to symbolism, as we suddenly understand the town and its inhabitants as being symbolic rather than actual. For Tess Hutchinson, the ending of the lottery is certainly not what she expects. Although she began the story as an eager latecomer to the event, the story’s conclusion brings out her hypocrisy: Tess Hutchinson’s quite willing to participate in group-sponsored violence until she becomes its victim. The setting of the story is specific and the readers are presented with every minute of detail while the lottery is taking place. Emotions of the villagers express discomfort, so the setting of the story hardly contributes to the central idea but it stimulates the climax immensly.

The mood of Langston Hughes’ short story “Thank You, M’am” is hopeful. This tone is evident in the plot of the story, which begins with a young boy named Roger attempting to steal the purse Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. Hughes’ tone is lightly humorous as he describes the encounter between Mrs. Jones and Roger, which Mrs. Jones decidedly gets the better of. Roger has picked the wrong woman to rob. She is much stronger and bolder than he could have imagined, and she drags him home with her. The mood is hopeful because of what happens next. As Mrs. Jones engages Roger in conversation and cooks for him, Roger begins to have a change of heart. He begins to want Mrs. Jones to see him as trustworthy. When Mrs. Jones actually gives him money, she is silently expressing the hope that her unexpected kindness will change Roger into someone who won’t try to steal anymore. As Roger leaves her house, he wants to say “Thank you, M’am” to Mrs. Jones, but by then the door is already closed. The fact that Roger wishes to thank her shows that she has made at least something of an impression on him. Our hope, as readers, is that Roger has learned his lesson as a result of Mrs. Jones’ kindness. he story ends with the note that Roger ‘ wants to say something else other than ‘Thank you, m’am” for the compassion he’s been shown, and although it is noted that the paths of these two never cross again, it seems that Mrs. Jones has given Roger a reason to choose a different path in life. Another theme is that human strength can be found in unlikely places. Roger certainly doesn’t choose a ‘victim’ who he thinks will put up a fight. Not only does Mrs. Jones retain possession of her purse, she also effectively takes control of the situation. Hughes wrote ‘Thank You, M’am’ in dialect, using colloquialisms and idioms common at that time. This use of dialect makes the dialogue between the characters more natural, which in turn draws the reader deeper into the story. In the course of the story, the blue suede shoes Roger wants to buy become a symbol of his desire for a better life. He lives in what appears to be a lower-middle class neighborhood, and the fact that he tries to steal from Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones suggests that he would not be able to afford the shoes otherwise. For him, the shoes aren’t just a symbol: they’re something that would otherwise be out of reach. Two important themes in the story are shame and forgiveness. Roger first feels shame when he’s reprimanded for trying to steal, but he’s later shown forgiveness by Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, who teaches him an important lesson about dignity and respect.

Gary Ross’ film Pleasantville, While the basic premise finds a pair of 90s teenagers being transported into the black-and-white world of a Leave It to Beaver-like 1950s TV show where the weather is always 72 degrees and the basketball team has never missed a shot, Pleasantville is highly metaphorical in nature. The theme is one of repression—both external and internal—and thanks in large part to the film’s timeless quality and avoidance of specific references, Pleasantville remains an incredibly potent allegory two decades later. Especially for its intended audience of teenagers. The film certainly dabbles in socio-political repression, with strong parallels to the civil rights movement all the way down to “No Coloreds” signs when this “disease” of color starts spreading. But it doesn’t really get too specific in this regard, and admittedly there are literally no people of color in the entire film. This lack of actual diversity stands out when viewing the film through the prism of 2018, but it’s also clear through the filmmaking techniques that Ross is after a more general idea of repression, with an authoritarian bent. Indeed, most of the shots of Big Bob are framed low and canted, calling to mind archival footage of ruthless dictators. It’s no wonder Ross would go on to direct the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. They show the struggle between the races and the objection to change harboured by the traditionalists. Therefore, there is a plethora of cinematic devices used by Ross in these scenes. As aforementioned, tracking shots are used. However, more importantly, slow motion shots are a main feature of these scenes. For example, while the soda shop is being overturned there are slow motion shots highlighting the importance and drama of this twist in the story. These shots are particularly effective in leaving no doubt in the audience’s mind that the riots are extremely substantial within the movie and are going to lead to many different means of consequence. However, change is the crux of the production, it is what the whole movie regards – change and adjustment. The cinematic techniques used to symbolise change in this scene alone, such as the thunder and lightning and the sinister shadows are astonishing, and convey to the audience precisely what was intended. Overall, there are many themes to Pleasantville. Such as, the quest for knowledge, the strive for happiness, the freedom of expression, the need for self-confidence, racism, prejudices, appreciation, becoming more well rounded, liberation, unity, revolution, new beginnings, acceptance, freedom, the loosening of stereotypes, fulfilling potential and the juxtaposition between perfect and imperfect worlds. However, the main theme of Pleasantville is change, and how it is dealt with. The director, Gary Ross uses many cinematic techniques, such as characterisation, the use of colour and black and white, the exploration of journeys, camera angles and in particular tracking and low angled shots, juxtaposition and the use of music.

In conclusion, A theme is a dominant thought, a unifying vision, a moral. It is the central idea behind your story. A theme is a natural, unobtrusive part of a story. The writer starts with an idea; as the story develops, it is influenced by the writer’s own philosophy or observation of the human condition. This is the theme, the quality that brings with it a sense of values and drama. These truth statements about how the world works, or at least how the narrator has observed it to function, are usually debatable, but they’re not necessarily revelations: If they were, they might not resonate with readers. These truth statements about how the world works, or at least how the narrator has observed it to function, are usually debatable, but they’re not necessarily revelations: If they were, they might not resonate with readers. Once you’ve taken the time and effort to “sow the seeds of theme” in your mind, you need to let go and trust in the magic. Your subconscious will guide you as you write a focused novel that has a deeper layer of meaning in the form of a strong theme.

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Never Giving Up in Mother to Son and Dreams by Langston Hughes

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer


Both poems share a common theme but Langston Hughes uses different literary devices to express the theme of never giving up. In “Mother to Son,” the author uses a first person point of view to explain someone’s struggles in life. In the poem “Dreams,” the author uses third person and it is a lot shorter than the other poem. “Mother to Son” is a lot longer than “Dreams”, therefor, “Mother to son” has more detail. Both poems express the theme of never giving up but the author, Langston Hughes, has different ways of expressing it.

Mother to Son

“Mother to son” expresses the common theme by using dialogue. The mother was explaining how life was difficult for her but she pushed through. In the poem it states, “Well, son, I’ll tell you: / Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” This shows that the mother was explaining how in her life she went through hard times but she always got through it. According to Gale, “After an epigraph from Hughes’s poem ‘Mother to Son’–‘Well, son, I’ll tell you: / Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair’ – Ottley opens his book by reminding readers of Harlem’s exemplary role in progressive social movements, while reiterating the familiar theme of its cosmopolitanism” (Lowney) This shows that the author wanted to show that life can be more difficult because of the social pyramid. People go through different challenges in life depending on where you stand in society, but no matter how difficult life may be, Langston Hughes wants the reader to know to never give up.


In the poem “Dreams,” the author expressed the theme by using third person point of view. Even though the theme of the poems are expressed in different ways they both still express the theme of never giving up. In the poem “Dreams,” it states, “Hold fast to dreams/ For if dreams die / Life is a broken winged bird” (Hughes 1-3) This shows that the author tells the reader that life is difficult without having any characters. According to Gale, “These dreams represent the range of social-class aspirations that divide the Harlem of Montage, but they coalesce within the volume’s signature sound of frustration” (Lowney). This proves that the author believed in equality.


Both poems express the common theme of never giving up. Even though both poems use different literary devices, they both depict a common theme. The theme that both of these poems express is to never give up. The poems do have some common ways of expressing the theme. For example, both poems use metaphors to express the theme. In the poem “Mother to Son” it states, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” (Hughes 2). This means that life is not a perfect staircase. In the poem “Dreams” it states, “Life is a broken-winged bird / that cannot fly” (Hughes 3-4). This means that the bird has lost its purpose and cannot do what it is supposed to do. The two poems both use metaphors to show that you should never give up.


Both poems share a common theme but Langston Hughes uses different literary devices to express it in both poems. “Mother to Son” uses dialogue, while “Dreams” uses 3rd person point of view. The author expresses the theme of not giving up in each poem. Even though the theme is expressed in different ways, metaphors are used in both poems. The two poems are very motivational and inspiring for the reader.

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A Glimpse of Hell: Reports on Torture Worldwide

May 5, 2021 by Essay Writer

Langston hughes’s poetry as an opposition to hell. James Mercer Langston Hughes is and american author who “was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri, According to the website, “He is particularly known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. He was well known for his “novels, short stories, and plays, as well as poetry, and is also known for his engagement with the world of jazz and the influence it had on his writing”. Langston Hughes “as a thinker about religion, tested its categorical boundaries to engage with Black church cultures and, more broadly, American religious institutions and Christian theology. He used religious language and themes such as God, mercy, redemption, resurrection, sin, prayer, purity and salvation as an expansive framework”. The use of these words in his poetry shows that he opposes hell. A vivid example of his work that opposes hell, is his poem “God”. He stated, “I am God/ Without one friend/ Alone in my purity”. The use of words such as God and purity signifies his opposition to hell in this poem. Just as we all know God is the creator of heaven and earth and we are to serve him in purity and dignity. Langston hughes clearly associates himself with heaven through the exemplary means of explaining the lack of responsibilities that transpire within humanity and also the beauty of life, therefore this clearly shows his opposition towards hell. In the poem “You and your whole race” by Langston Hughes, he opposes hell in a way where he explains lack of responsibilities which is the common challenge that the black community faces within themselves. The term ‘hell’ in the poem symbolizes the racial problems amongst the black community.

Most people don’t completely accept their failures and take it for what it is. Instead, they will rather put the blame on someone else. Hence, Langston Hughes stresses avoiding blaming others for one’s actions and urges taking complete ownership for one’s faults. With these faults, they shall embrace and invest in ways of bettering themselves according to Christian ideals. Alongside, these challenges become the ultimate reason why the blacks in the poem mostly blame whites for their failures. He states, “Look down upon the town in which you live/ And be ashamed/ Look down upon white folks/ And upon yourselves/ And be ashamed. In this case, he elaborates on how black individuals look down on their own figures and those around them. On top of that, he explains how they blame white individuals for the cause of these downfalls. Hughes however, explains how pointing the fingers on white people shouldn’t be their way of overcoming this failure. Instead, they should focus on finding ways of bettering their lives without being affected by who they blame. In relation to Hughes being an opponent of hell, scenarios in cases like that are one of the major problems our society faces today. In society today people call themselves christians and still engage in bad deeds. An example is the Roman catholic priests who sexually abuse young children according to New york times magazine, a priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out; a victim tied up and whipped with leather straps by a priest; and another priest who was allowed to stay in ministry after impregnating a young girl and arranging for her to have an abortion. The sexual abuse scandal has shaken the Catholic Church for more than 15 years, ever since explosive allegations emerged out of Boston in 2002. This connects to hughes’s poetry because once again people are refusing to take responsibility for their actions. The same way blacks in the poem don’t take responsibilities of the hell they live in is the same way the catholic priest commit sins and don’t acknowledge the fact that their actions have eternal consequences, the hell that they’re going to end up in.

‘Life is Fine’ is another engrossing poem by Langston Hughes. This poem completely caught my attention because I feel as though it is a great example of the opposite of hell. In this case, Hughes tells a story about a man who is suffering and contemplating about suicide, but he is able to see the beauty in having a life. And this made a turn around towards his decisions. The poem appears to be about a man living a rough life, who has a near-death experience that makes him realize how valuable his life is to him. The subject has been through a lot in life, whose sorrows lead to depression. Which made him think about killing himself because he felt life is tiring but when he realized the beauty of life he changed his decision.This poem “life is fine” by Langston Hughes helped me understand the fact that whatever situation an individual is facing, committing suicide or hurting oneself won’t be the solution. But trusting in yourself, and knowing the reason for being alive can still help to shape one’s life. In relation to this, letting go of the past, building up a high self-esteem, blocking out every negativity and taking ownership over one’s mind can improve the struggles of the mind which can eliminate the thoughts of suicide. Hughes has helped individuals understand that he also feels the same way people feel and also considers giving up on life but that is not the solution to end struggles.The fact that langston hughes the author choose not to make the speaker kill himself shows that he aligns himself with heaven. In this poem, he opposes hell by encouraging his readers not to choose a bad decision in life rather we should fight against that bad decision that will end up bringing sorrow. Hughes through his poetry has made readers understand that we should all oppose hellish thoughts such as suicide, and lack of accountability. He also states in his poem, “So since I’m still here living, I guess I will live on”. Hence, this helped people to understand that we are all subjected to eternal life, and it is our right to choose between heaven and hell.

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