Langston Hughes

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What are the ideas which Langston Hughes explores in his poems? Langston Hughes’s poetry depicts the influences of his life and highlights his commitment to black culture. He explored the ideas of racism, dreams, the importance of culture, equality and belonging in his poetry, all of which he has experienced and been influenced by. In the poem Theme for English B, Hughes expresses his frustration towards white Americans. He discusses themes of belonging to his culture in this poem. In the Dream Sequence, Hughes write about the importance of dreams and conveys to his readers life would be unimportant and directionless. Hughes’s poetry emphasises his experience and support of Black Americans at a time when they were facing harsh discrimination.

Langston Hughes focused his work on the unfairness of life in America. He conveys to his readers that although everybody is from different origins, we all share similar human experiences. In his poem, Theme for English B, Hughes portrays the level of racism occurring in America and states that he is the only ‘coloured’ person in his class. He explains that all Americans, white or black, experience the same human values. In the poem, he asks ‘I wonder if it is that simple?’, giving a sense of isolation because he is different. He also states in his work ‘being coloured does not make me not like the same thing other folks like who are other races’, saying that being ‘coloured’ does not make him different or worth less that white Americans. To express this, he applies an extensive use of metaphoric language and strong imagery throughout the poem.

Hughes believes dreams to be a critical part of life, he sees them as essential and an important experience. Hughes regards life to be of no use without dreams. In his Dream Sequence, consisting of three poems, he discusses the importance of dreams and emphasises to his readers to follow them and not ever let go. In the first stanza of Dreams one of the three poems, Hughes uses...
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