Langston Hughes Use of Poetry Elements

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The Harlem Renaissance was a movement in the 1920's and 30's centered around black americans in mostly in Harlem, New York. During this movement, black writers', musicians' and artists' works were flourishing. A writer from this period in time. who was one of the main innovators of jazz poetry, happens to be Langston Hughes. His poems and writings were greatly descriptive of black americans' lives in that time period. His use of poetic elements make his writings connect with his audience, visually and emotionally. During Hughes' time and the Harlem Renaissance, racism and segregation was still greatly in effect. Jim Crow laws limited Black Americans greatly but did not limit them from dying for the country in war. Hughes, of course had problems with much of the mistreatment of black people and you can tell in poems of his that this is true. Not only did Hughes write about black people's suffering, he wrote much about blacks' love of music, dancing and just simply their beauty.

Hughes wrote a lot about dreams and crushed dreams, most likely of black people. His poem entitled simply, "Dream", also has great examples of imagery. His best use of imagery in this poem is the when he relates lost dreams to a 'barren field frozen with snow'. Without dreams or ambitions, what is their to look forward to in life? Everyone has some dream whether big or small and having those dreams keep life interesting. So without dreams life would just be empty, like a completely snow-white field. Hughes also makes his key statement evident by repeating it twice in the poem. The first and fifth line say 'Hold fast to dreams', which was Hughes' idea behind writing this poem. In his poem "Dream Deferred", he uses also uses imagery to explain the pain of a crushed or deferred dream. Blacks' didn't have many opportunities to fulfill their dreams due to the laws that limited their success, and of course this must have been painful for them to dream big and not be able to follow through...
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