Analysis of "The Weary Blues"

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Brandon Smith
ENG 2233 A
Mrs. Lowe
2 December 2009
Sweet Blues
With all the different forms of literature today, and allowing for the variety of genres available to today’s readers, there are endless possibilities of options regarding a reader’s favorite piece of literature. Many of my favorites can be categorized into the country-western genre; however, my taste in literature is not limited to stories of cowboys and Indians. As I have aged, I have found that I enjoy reading literature for both recreation and as a learning experience. Along with my newfound reason for reading, I find that I enjoy reading poetry, searching for each poem’s hidden or underlying meanings. Of the poems recently presented in class, my favorite is “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes, because of its imagery, technique, and style.

Throughout the poem, Hughes utilizes imagery to increase the pleasure gained from reading this piece. In lines five through seven, the poem’s speaker describes the musicians setting as having a “pale dull pallor” (Hughes 1659). Along with his description of the setting, the speaker states that the musician “did a lazy sway…” (Hughes 1659). Because the speaker describes the setting as lacking color and the musician’s actions as “lazy” (Hughes 1659), the speaker’s description of the musician’s setting and actions depict a man that is lacking life and energy. In lines 33-35, the speaker states: “The singer stopped playing and went to bed / While the Weary Blues echoed through his head. / He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead” (Hughes 1660). Because the passage refers to the sleeping musician as a stone or a dead man, one can see that no matter how soundly the musician sleeps, or how deeply he slips into a subconscious state, he is still plagued by the struggles that create his “Weary Blues” (Hughes 1660). With the application of imagery to the poem, Hughes creates an enjoyable piece of literature.

Not only does Hughes utilize imagery to...
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