Langston Hughes Poems
A Large Role of Langston Hughes in Creating Equal Rights for African Americans
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.
The Analysis of the Poem “The Weary Blues” by Langton Hughes
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.
Analysis of “The Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes
I chose to construct my essay on the poem “The theme for English B” by one of the best known African-American poet Langston Hughes. I picked this specific poem because it was as if I was reading one of my own work that I had written in a parallel universe where I was born as a gifted poet. Although I did not grow up in Harlem or in that time period, every word was resonating to my own personal journey. This is the exact mindset I fell into when I first came to the U.S., that one year of high school and now here. Being that one outsider that came from a totally different background and culture, and trying to transfer my thoughts and emotions in a word and way others can understand and relate to–now that’s one heck of a quest. It is not really about the language, grammar or any other skill related factors that makes it difficult, but the missing commonality. I am not denying the existence of some shared experience and at one point we might have had the same ancestor. But nature and civilization situated us in different communities; choices and decisions took as through different experiences. The history we hold and the lack of consistent communication afterwards gives rise to barriers to form connection with an alien compared to the flawless manner we could have communicated with someone in our community.
The poem began with what seems to be a straightforward instruction from Hughes’s instructor. The reasoning he Putting “instructor” at the top is in itself a symbol for authority and highness. The following four line onset the rest of the poem, the italic font indicates that it is indeed a direct quote of his in structure with a poetic twitch. Hughes had some difficulties defining his true self as it is, but most of all he was doubtful of the extent to which the instructor would understand his writing due to the obvious difference in race, which stands out when considering the racial segregation during that period in America.
The poem, which turned out to be his original assignment, is not one of those formal poems with meters and structure, rather seems like a freestyle with a rhythm. He played a bit with imagery, symbolism and allusion, but allegory was the primary tool he used to convey his message. The use of imagery began when he starts narrating his life-story in the second stanza. We can already picture Hughes with the two descriptive information he mentioned about himself: “twenty-two, colored” but those descriptions are not only imagery. He purposely used the word colored rather than black or African-American, because it evokes the real experience of racial segregation as the word was printed on signs to denote the separated facilities for white and black people. He further intensified the situation when he mentioned he was the only colored student in a class full of white students; we can only imagine the feeling of isolation he must have had experienced. Line 8- 14 are imaginary description of his former high school, the college and the dorm he resides in connected through geographical feature, cities and streets. He mentioned Harlem trice in that one stanza which indicates his belongingness to the community, we’re able to see the frustration and confusion, the frantic feeling that can sometimes come along with searching for an answer to this question.
Literary Techniques in “Early Autumn” by Langston Hughes
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.
“The Weary Blues”: What This Poem is About
“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.
A Analysis of Langston Hughes’s Collection of Poems – Allusion, Dramatic Monologue, and Imagery in I, Too
‘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.
Negro-art Hokum by George Schuyler and the Perspective of Langston Hughes in the Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain: a Conception Essay
George Schuyler was a conservative, social commentator most active during the mid 1900s. In 1926, he published a piece called “The Negro-Art Hokum” objecting to the perceived black difference in art and literature that the Harlem and Negro Renaissance exemplified. Langston Hughes responded to this piece with his piece “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” fundamentally disagreeing with this argument, expressing his beliefs that for a black person to produce work that was not authentic to their race was tantamount to wanting to be white. Schuyler’s logic is problematic, not only because much of his writing was able to be published and gained recognition because of the momentum of the Harlem and Negro Renaissance, but also because it neglects the importance of the beginnings of a black presence within literary and art communities that was lacking previously.
Schuyler is wary of a difference in standards for black literature and art. He defends his beliefs that the literature should be held as excellent because of its quality and not because of the race of the author. He explains this, also noting that “the amount, however, is very small, but such as it is, it is meritorious because it is literature and not Negro literature. It is judged by literary and not by racial standards, which is as it should be.” The race of the author is not irrelevant because it has influenced a great deal of their experiences and therefore, most likely, impacted what and how they write. Furthermore, it is relevant that black Americans are writing; after years of being silenced, they are receiving recognition and attention for their voices and stories. I do not believe that this implies a different standard of quality, rather a recognition of another set of voices who struggled to come out of the framework and be heard.
Black difference is unfathomable to Schuyler. As long as a black and a white American speak the same language, make and ride in the same cars and read the same newspapers, it will not exist. He explains that when the black man, “responds to the same political, social, moral, and economic stimuli in precisely the same manner as his white neighbor, it is sheer nonsense to talk about ‘racial differences’ as between the American black man and the American white man.” Years of unrelenting, dehumanizing oppression under slavery, Jim Crow, hate crimes and other racially motivated forms of discrimination would argue that very different political, social, moral and economic stimuli impact black Americans. Racial differences do not exist in terms of capability, intelligence or biological factors, but the discrimination deeply embedded from generations of socialization creates circumstances that are not present in a white American’s life, but dominate the social, economic, political and moral mobility and perception of black Americans.
Schuyler holds strong to his belief that a white artist could produce anything a black artist did because of cultural, educational, economic and political factors and experiences. While Hughes argues against this as a perspective that discourages one to embrace their race and express it with pride, I believe it is additionally flawed in that it neglects to address very real and present adversity directed only towards American citizens who are black. His perspective does not want there to be a lesser or different standards for the work of black creatives, which I agree with, but I do believe that it is not negative or wrong for race to have a presence in the work.
Langston Hughes’s Unity, Equality, and Freedom in American Society: the Key Concepts and Ideas
Langston Hughes was a widely known poet in America because of his ideas, and his writing. Many people also refer to Hughes as the leader of the Harlem Renaissance. His works were a big inspiration during the twentieth century, and they continue to be used in present day. Hughes is mainly recognized because of the strong messages he expressed within his poems were relatable to a lot of people during his time. Langston Hughes conveyed many of his beliefs and ideas through his works. Some of the main themes Hughes focused on were freedom, unity, and equality.
To begin, Langston Hughes conveys the idea of unity throughout his poems. For example, in the poem “Open Letter to the South” Hughes uses different rhetorical strategies, and figurative language to express his ideas of unity. In stanza 4, lines 1-3 states, “ Let us become instead, you and I; One single hand; That can unite rise” (Hughes). These lines imply the fact that Hughes wants Whites and Blacks to come together as one. He even uses the metaphor “one single hand” to give the reader a visual of how he pictures different races working as one. Langson continues this idea in stanza 5, lines 7-8 when he states, “Let us together, say: You are my brother, black or white” Hughes calls the audience his brothers and sisters no matter their race. By doing this he tries to create a close relationship with those who might be against people of their opposite race. Langston’s goal for creating “Open Letter to the South” is to encourage blacks and whites to come together; by doing so he believes society as a whole will become better and stronger.
Additionally, Hughes also expresses his ideas of equality in America in through his work. In the poem “Let America Be America Again.” In the poem Langston Hughes voices how he wants America to be great once again, but for everyone. He explains how he wants liberty, and the chance of opportunity for everyone in America, no matter the ethnicity. In lines 1-5 hughes states, “Let America be America again; Let it be the dream it used to be; Let it be the pioneer on the plain; Seeking a home where he himself is free; America never was America to me” (Hughes). In this first stanza Hughes shows indication that America has changed from what it use to be. America had changed from the place where people seek opportunity, and fulfill dreams; to a place where only a select few have the chance to succeed. In the last sentence when Langston states, “America never was America to me” (Hughes). He shows how the black men and women never had the opportunity for success. These ideas are continued in stanza 3 lines 11-16 when he states, “O, let my land be a land where Liberty; Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath; But opportunity is real, and life is free; Equality is in the air we breathe; There’s never been equality for me; Nor freedom in this ‘homeland of the free’ (Hughes). Langston expresses how America is suppose to represent freedom, and equality for all. On the other hand the last 2 lines of stanza 3 state otherwise. He says how there is no equality in America. Because Hughes is a black male he was not considered equal. He also says that he was never free in America like the moto “homeland of the free” implies. Langston tries to connect back to the major theme of equality because he believes that America has become corrupt, and the unfair. He believes that America has shifted to a segregated point of view, where only white citizens can achieve the dream. Hughes starts to conclude his poem by stating, “O, yes; I say it plain; America never was America to me; And yet I swear this oath–;America will be” (Hughes). Langston does this to symbolize that America isn’t in his favor now, but one day it will be; in his and everyone else’s no matter their race.
Kristen’s analysis of Hughes “Let America Be America Again” was similar to the central idea that Hughes wanted people understand. She states,”In “Let America Be America Again,” Langston Hughes openly shares his thoughts on the American Dream…Throughout the poem, Hughes contrasts his hopes for America with the reality of life for those outside of the socially and economically dominant racial, religious, and social groups. He evokes the fervent dreams of those who came to the United States because they saw it as a haven where they could be safe from the persecution they endured in their homelands – but those dreams of America have never come true” (Osborne). This paragraph makes it clearer to the reader about what Hughes intentions were when he wrote this poem. Kristen hits the nail on the head when she states, “…but those dreams of America have never come true” (Osborne). This is exactly how Hughes wanted the people to analysis this poem because he even states, “America never was America to me” (Hughes). This shows that those dreams that America were suppose to hold doesn’t become a reality for everyone. Kristen continues her analysis by writing, “The speaker cries out that the ‘Negroes,’ immigrants, and poor people must rise up and redefine American equality as it was always meant to be. He states emphatically, “We must take back our land again, / America!” Even if America is now currently plagued by discrimination and greed, the speaker (and Hughes) believe that it can be improved. Thus, the poem ends on an optimistic, powerful note of self-determination and perseverance” (Osborne). Similar to Hughes, Kristen believes that he wants equality for all. She addresses the point that he wanted America to become everyone’s land, and not just a certain group of people. Kristen understood that Hughes wanted America to become a better place for all those who came seeking freedom, and opportunity. This is why she believed that his ending statements were powerful and encouraging to those people of his time. Hughes and Kristen both knew that America could be better if everyone had the same opportunities.
Thirdly, Langston conveys the ideas of freedom in his poem “Freedom’s Plow.” In stanza 8 lines 100 – 108 Hughes states, “But not so long ago at that Lincoln said: NO MAN IS GOOD ENOUGH; TO GOVERN ANOTHER MAN; WITHOUT THAT OTHER’S CONSENT; There were slaves then, too; But in their hearts the slaves knew; What he said must be meant for every human being-; Else it had no meaning for anyone” (Hughes). This quote represents Hughes ideas of freedom because he knew that humans weren’t suppose to be control by other humans without their permission. This is why he included what Lincoln said to show that everyone is suppose to be free, but they are not. The slaves represent those in captivity. They knew they were also supposed to be free which is why they believed in those words that Lincoln spoke. Hughes continues this idea in lines 109 -115 by writing, “Then a man said: BETTER TO DIE FREE; THAN TO LIVE SLAVES; He was a colored man who had been a slave; But had run away to freedom; And the slaves knew; What Frederick Douglass said was true” (Hughes). Langston uses Frederick’s quote to expand his idea on freedom. He agrees that it is better to be dead and free than to live under another man’s rule. Hughes believes that freedom is better than being enslaved no matter the circumstance.
In Langston’s “I Dream A World” Poem he express his ideas of both unity and freedom. In lines 3 – 6 Hughes states, “Where love will bless the earth; And peace its paths adorn; I dream a world where all; Will know sweet freedom’s way” (Hughes). This quote shows that Langston wanted the world to be peaceful, and that he wanted everyone to be free. He wanted people, no matter their race, to be free, and treated as if they were. He continues this idea in lines 9 -12 when he writes, “A world I dream where black or white; Whatever race you be; Will share the bounties of the earth; And every man is free” (Hughes). He includes these lines to show his thoughts on unity. Hughes goes as far to say, “Whatever race you be” this shows that he wants everyone to come together, and to share the earth as we should. He doesn’t want different races to be segregated from another.
Though Langston Hughes was an inspiration to many people throughout his life, there were some who didn’t think Hughes was a good poet. The article, “Langston Hughes” states, “Despite Heyward’s statement, much of Hughes’s early work was roundly criticized by many black intellectuals for portraying what they thought to be an unattractive view of black life. In his autobiographical The Big Sea, Hughes commented: “Fine Clothes to the Jew was well received by the literary magazines and the white press, but the Negro critics did not like it at all. The Pittsburgh Courier ran a big headline across the top of the page, LANGSTON HUGHES’ BOOK OF POEMS TRASH. The headline in the New York Amsterdam News was LANGSTON HUGHES—THE SEWER DWELLER” (“Langston Hughes”). This quote shows that even though some people saw Hughes as a inspiration, some of his fellow “brothers and sisters” didn’t appreciate what he was focusing on. They even go as far to comparing his book of poems to trash even though they were meant to empower blacks. On the other hand, some people did agree with Hughes on his views. Specifically, Gibson states, “Hughes “has perhaps the greatest reputation (worldwide) that any black writer has ever had. Hughes differed from most of his predecessors among black poets, and (until recently) from those who followed him as well, in that he addressed his poetry to the people, specifically to black people. During the twenties when most American poets were turning inward, writing obscure and esoteric poetry to an ever decreasing audience of readers, Hughes was turning outward, using language and themes, attitudes and ideas familiar to anyone who had the ability simply to read” (Gibson). This shows that not all blacks thought of Hughes ideas as trash, they actually agreed with him, and understood where he was coming from. They believed that Hughes was just being different from other writers by expressing the truth about situations that were occurring.
In conclusion, Langston Hughes contributed to many ideas that people have about society today. He inspired those of his time to bring unity, equality, and freedom to those in America, and he still influences those of modern day era to do the same. He believed that as a whole people can accomplish more, and make the world a better place.
The Poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes
If you would be the son in the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, what would be the promises you may give to your mother? Well, simply I, as her son, the promises I would give are:
First, I promise to pick the right choice in my life, why? As John Maxwell said, “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” It definitely means that our life is composed of many choices, we are the one whose manipulating and controlling what would be the choices we would choose. We as a human have what so called the Equilibrium of life, simply it means that every decisions and choices we’ve made are judged and weighed on a scale where we check if what choice is more superior, preponderant and dominant. We are able to know what is wrong from a right and what is right from a wrong. Imagine, you are harvesting inside a mango tree plantation, will you choose a raw fruit rather than a ripe and fresh fruit? Well literally, we would pluck the ripe fruit. It’s just that, the ripe fruit symbolizes the right choices and the raw fruits are the wrong choices we’ve made. We will be able to pluck or pick a right choice rather than a wrong choice. We are able to know what choice will give us the best benefit. As the son, i would promise to my mother that I should pick the right choices in my life.
Second, I promise that I won’t climb the stair she took because I know for myself that the mistakes of my mother which reflected to me will never be done again. I won’t let my life be miserable. I won’t let myself to climb for a wooden stair. That’s life! We soar for the best and not for the worst. My mother did that, so I would never take the wrong path she did because it definitely told the outcome of that choice. I won’t let myself be drowned by my mistakes and just surrender in life. I must think for a better future not just for my mother but also for myself.
Third, I promise to climb a path with good deeds because the goodness you may give to others can cause positivity in your life. Honestly, me, as a person is very overwhelmed when I gave something good and that something is too much appreciated by the receiver. The simple smiles, the thankful words he/she might say, the smiley faces which is barely seen to his/her face can make my life harmonize, wonderful, marvelous and definitely can add a delight and positivity to my life as I ascent to the path I an walking upon.
Lastly, I promise to take the obstacles and challenges in life as a motivation to continue climbing for a crystal stair. As a quote says, “Life is full of challenges, but these challenges are only given to you because God knows your faith is strong enough to get through them.” Well, definitely life is accomodated by many many challenges that tests our faith to never surrender. These challenges makes us strong, it makes us tough, it makes us learn, it makes us fight, it makes us live, it makes us to continue, it makes us an unbreakable glass, it makes us an uncuttable paper and it makes us to have a faith and conviction to God. Why would you give up on something when you’ve started it? Take these challenges as the hurdles you can jump upon. Whatever the case, you can move toward your own success. We can overcome this challenges because we have a strong hold, a mind that functions and controls our whole well-being to continue climbing for our goals.
I therefore conclude that all of these commitments and assurances are not as simple as climbing a literal stairs where you can just skip on any levels you want. We may face challenges, barriers and obstacles in life but its not a valid reason for us to surrender. Its very clear that we can pick the right choices in life. Its very obvious that we can prevent choosing the wrong choices in life. Our life is metaphorically compared to a stair where we have the freedom to pick a stair of crystals rather than a stairs made up of a wood. Promises are meant to be broken but this promises aren’t meant to be. Its what we are targetting, we have a bulls eye to shoot for a best life. We have a musicians mind to hit the right notes in our life. We have a teacher’s mind to teach ourselves. We have a basketball player’s ability to shoot for a great life. We have a mother, a mother who tells us what we need to do for our own sake. We have ourselves that manipulates our mental, physical, spiritual, physicological way of thinking to neither give up nor surrender on the storms of life.
The Morals and Symbolism in Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes
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.