Langston Hughes: The Art of Words to Express Want For Freedom
A writer can convey a whole set of ideas and moods within their art, whether it is joy, sadness, defiance, or anger. During the Harlem Renaissance, many African-American writers, such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Jean Toomer, and Langston Hughes used words and writings to convey their feelings in different styles of literature. Such literature varied from short stories to novels, poems to essays, and so on. Langston Hughes especially (during the Harlem Renaissance) used his art of words to convey his peoples want for freedom. His moods and tones varied from poem to poem that he wrote, which made the readers feel a variety of emotions with each poem, to get at the “whole person” and not be just a “robot”. He also expressed his people’s wish to truly be free as well. In his works such as the poems “The Weary Blues”, “Song for a Dark Girl”, “Epilogue: I, Too, Sing America”, “Dream Variation”, and “Harlem Nightclub”, the reader can see the wide variety of emotions Hughes uses in each poem individually, and can still see how he ties it together as his call to his people to stand up in their own ways for their beliefs.
In the poem “The Weary Blues”, the poem talks about the narrator listening and watching an old Negro man playing the blues at night, singing how he “ain’t got nobody in all this world, ain’t got nobody but ma self”. This line especially sets many of different tones throughout the piece, going back and forth from melancholic to a calming tone. One might even feel a tired tone, as if the author is conveying a sense of closure to something. It could be a closure of life, or even just the end of a long, tiring day. This poem also means something more, however. The song the old man is singing relates to how many people feel at the end of a long day- alone. The old man says “I got the Weary Blues/ And I can’t be satisfied”. Can he be conveying to the reader that he understands what many...
Bibliography: Ferguson, Jeffery B., “9” In The Harlem Renaissance: A Brief History With Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 68-72, 95-96.
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