Literary Analysis of American Literature

Topics: African American, Poetry, Harlem Renaissance Pages: 3 (1184 words) Published: April 26, 2012
The Life and Poems of Langston Hughes
When reading the literature of Langston Hughes, I can’t help but feeling energetically charged and inspired. Equality, freedom, empowerment, renaissance, justice and perseverance, are just a taste of the subject matter Hughes offers. He amplifies his voice and beliefs through his works which are firmly rooted in race pride and race feeling. Hughes committed himself to writing and to writing mainly about African Americans. Langston Hughes's stories deal with and serve as a commentary of conditions befalling African Americans during the Depression Era. As Elinor Ostrom explains, "To a great degree, his stories speak for those who are disenfranchised, cheated, abused, or ignored because of race or class." Hughes's stories speak of the downtrodden African-Americans neglected and overlooked by a prejudiced society. The recurring theme of powerlessness is exemplified in his narration “Let America Be America again”, “Harlem” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”. Hughes uses rhyme to draw attention to the poetic element of his narration “Let America Be America Again”. Words such as “be” and “free”, “dreamed and “schemed”, “wreathe” and “breathe” etc. all demonstrate rhyming. The central theme is that the author feels left out of the American Dream. Hughes is writing a poem of someone who feels that America is a land that lives up to begin to add up to that. The tone is angry and resentful. In this poem he is not representing the point of view of one particular group. Hughes conveys that there are many people who’ve come here with hopes and dreams and they’re being let down. He’s also saying that there is an economic disparity between people. In essence the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, because there is no equal opportunity. That idea is something that is not real for many people because of their race, economic situation, and come up. The reader is immediately introduced to the fact that the author does not believe that...
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