“50-50” by Langston Hughes
In the poem “50-50” by Langston Hughes, the theme is about a lonely woman seeking love. She might be a young woman who left her family in the South and moved North during the Great Migration for better opportunities, and that might be the reason why she feels she is all alone in this world. Or, she might be a widow or someone who has lost a partner, or boyfriend. She feels she is all alone because she has no man in her life. The monologue has a dual persona, a woman and a man having a conversation. The first character in the poem is the woman who expresses the things she does not have, and the second character is the man giving her advise on how to obtain the things she is searching for. The woman is lonely, and desires to be in a relationship with a man. But is she willing to share everything including her money 50-50 with that man? Most relationships are based on sharing, but in some cases one person always have to put a little more into the relationship to make it work. The first stanza shows her loneliness when she states “I’m all alone in this world, she said “ / “Ain’t got nobody to share my bed” (1-2). She is a woman with a desire to be in love, and maybe start a family, but first she needs a man in her life. She has nobody to share her bed, means she is an unmarried woman, with no boyfriend or significant other. Her first desire is having someone to share her bed, which makes her seem desperate for a man. She is looking for someone to be her companion. She continues, “Ain’t got nobody to hold my hand— “/ “The truth of the matter’s “/ “I ain’t got no man.” (3-5) To hold her hand is a love gesture, but it also signifies emotional support, financial support, and moral support. A man in the house shows the protector of a family, the provider, and the strength of that family. The hanging __ m dash after the word hand emphasizes she wants more than just someone holding her hand physically. In the second...
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