Langston Hughes' On The Road Essay

1289 words - 5 pages

Langston Hughes' "On the Road"

In Langston Hughes, "On the Road" the Sargeant is a homeless Black man that is desperate for food and shelter. In his desperation, Sargeant goes to the church to refuge, but there is no one at the Church to help him get refuge. Although Sargent is living in a time where the depression is in existence amongst all people, Black and White, he finds no one to help him. Sargent goes to the Church because the Church helps people. However, because Sargeant is Black and the Church is populated by a White congregation, he is rejected. In the story " One the Road", one of the people: A big black unemployed Negro holding onto our church... "The idea"! This represents that Sargent wants the benefits of the white society, but because of racism he was not allowed the opportunity to acquire the benefits. When Sargent was holding on to the Church, this represents his relentlessness and striving that he had to endure to live in a society in which discrimination and racism existed. He held on to the Church's doors because he was holding on to the American dream in which all people have the right to receive the same treatment regardless of color. Sargent knew he was no longer a slave, so when he was holding on to the Church's doors to be let in. He wanted to be fed and accepted into a society that did not want him.

In his persistence of wanting to be accepted, the Sargent caused the Church to collapse. Once the Church fell down, Christ came off the cross, and symbolically this represents freedom. "They have kept me nailed on a cross for nearly two thousand years(Hughes 619)." Victory invokes a feeling of freedom. Therefore, when the white converts kept Christ on the cross for two thousand years, they kept Christ bound, the blacks they were oppressing bound, and themselves bound. When they kept christ nailed on Calvary, they were denying that he ascended into heaven two thousand years ago. As the Church denied that Christ died, was buried and risen, the white congregation was denying that Sargeant was a free man with rights.

Hughes illustrates the reasons people do no like the Church today. Rev. Dorset, white or black, should have had compassion for Sargent. It is disappointing to see Rev. Dorset turned away Sargent, especially during the depression. A follower is a reflection of his/her leader and that is why everyone ignored and refused to help Sargeant. A Church has always been the place where anyone can be accepted. Christ says: "They have kept me nailed on the cross for nearly two thousand years(619)." This line symbolizes the stumbbling blocks that a congregation can cause to an individual. Although the congregational members have the power, their power was not enough to keep the Church together. As long as racism exists in a society, the oppressor and the oppressed will be bound and never free.

When the church fell down, symbolically, it was Sargeant who fell. And when the Sargent got up and started...

Find Another Essay On Langston Hughes' On the Road

The Work of Langston Hughes Essay

1337 words - 5 pages The Work of Langston Hughes Langston Hughes is considered by many readers to be the most significant black poet of the twentieth century. He is described as ³...the beloved author of poems steeped in the richness of African American culture, poems that exude Hughes¹s affection for black Americans across all divisions of region, class, and gender.² (Rampersad 3) His writing was both depressing and uplifting at times. His poetry, spanning five

Use of Fantasy in Langston Hughes's On the Road

653 words - 3 pages Use of Fantasy in Langston Hughes's On the Road Langston Hughes's short story "On the Road" begins and ends realistically enough: his protagonist, Sargeant, enters a strange town one winter's night during the Depression and finds himself without shelter, as many did during this era. Hughes gives Sargeant the additional burden of being an African-American in the "white" part of town; therefore, he faces the perfectly plausible obstacles

The Life and Works of Langston Hughes

803 words - 3 pages known at the time negroes. Segregation was still going on involving employment and interracial marriages. Langston Hughes stated that he based some things from his own memories growing up in Lawrence, Kansas. The book is semi-autobiographical which is dealing partly with the writer's own life but also containing fictional elements. "I wanted to write about a typical Negro family in the Middle West, about people like those I had known in Kansas

The Life and times of Langston Hughes

918 words - 4 pages as a people view the world, and our fellow man. Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri to Caroline Mercer Langston and James Nathaniel Hughes. At a very young age Hughes’ parents had divorced and each gone their separate ways, leaving young Hughes to be raised by his grandmother Mary Patterson Langston, in Lawrence, Kansas, until he had reached the age of thirteen. At this age is when he moved to Cleveland, Ohio to live with

Langston Hughes: The Reality of Black Life

1329 words - 6 pages in him most of all by his maternal grandmother.” Ramperstad also concluded that parental neglect impacted Hughes’ poetry. Langston Hughes died of prostate cancer on May 22, 1967. The glaring inequalities Hughes experienced throughout his lifetime became the subject of many of his poems. For instance, the harsh reality of black life is demonstrated in Hughes’ poem “Ku Klux”. The poem depicts a black man being beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan

The Forgotten Dreams of Langston Hughes

1875 words - 8 pages All Langston Hughes ever wanted was for people to have their dreams accomplished and the motivation to bring change forward. However, Hughes’ dreams almost came tumbling down for speaking out in one of his poems like he typically does. In 1940, Hughes had been investigated by the FBI following the release of his poem “Goodbye Christ”. Numerous accusations had arisen, stating Hughes “…[was a] member of the Communist Party, [ran] for public

Zora Neale Hurston vs Langston Hughes on the African American Dream

2603 words - 10 pages , writers like Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston and Elise Johnson McDougald knew that better days were coming and they too would be able to do the things the Whites thought they were not worthy of. They loved the skin that there were in and was not going to allow anyone to tell them otherwise. These three writers along with others believed that change was coming and their prayers and cries would soon be answered. Their struggling and fighting

Essay on Hardships Expressed in Hughes On the Road and Mother to Son

1521 words - 6 pages Hardships Expressed in Hughes On the Road and Mother to Son African-American citizens who live in the United States have experienced a tough life through personal experiences. They have struggled to obtain basic civil rights--a struggle that has spanned many centuries (Mabunda 311). Langston Hughes, author of the short story "On the Road" and the poem "Mother to Son," often illustrated in his writing the hardships experienced by the

Dreams on Hold in Harlem by Langston Hughes

815 words - 4 pages . When things get complicated, some dreams seem unachievable which could be stressful. Next the speaker suggests that “maybe it just sags like a heavy load.” (Hughes, 1277). This is essentially stating that dreams that are placed on hold could maybe weigh you down. When something weighs you down it is as if you have a heavy burden and dreams feel unachievable in your mind. Finally, Langston Hughes implies that if the dream does not “dry up like a

Thematic essay on Pride, featuring Langston Hughes and Zora Hurston

635 words - 3 pages Pride is a theme that runs through many genres of literature. There are many different manners in how one might interpret that theme. Two works that express this theme are a poem named "I Too" by Langston Hughes, and an excerpt from "How It Feels To Be Colored Me" by Zora Hurston. Pride is a strong sense of personal dignity that can overcome many obstacles is how one may interpret these to works. The writer's seems to use unique structures in

Commentary on "I,too, sing America" by Langston Hughes

854 words - 3 pages the true side of America during the 1960's; separate and unequal. However, through the black servant's bravery and hope for equality in the future, the first Black American President finally made it in 2008 - Barack Obama.Works Cited"I Too Sing, AMERICA: A Sociological Prospectus on Race, New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina." All Academic Inc. (Abstract Management, Conference Management and Research Search Engine). Web. 07 Sept. 2009. ."I, Too, Sing America Analysis Langston Hughes : Summary Explanation Meaning Overview Essay Writing Critique Peer Review Literary Criticism Synopsis Online Education." Writing Workshop, or something. Web. 07 Sept. 2009. .

Similar Essays

Symbols Of Truth In Langston Hughes' On The Road

1421 words - 6 pages Langston Hughes uses beautiful symbolism and imagery in his literary work “On the Road”. Hughes offers up the idea that if one is to open ones heart; life will provide unlimited abundance. In this literary work, Langston Hughes uses nature to demonstrate and symbolize the unwillingness of his main character, Sargeant, to participate in life. Hughes also demonstrates the use of a person’s anger and instinct to survive and how they both can be

Nick Adams On Langston Hughes Essay

1415 words - 6 pages . He took part in the Harlem Renaissance and enlightened the world about black life and culture. Langston Hughes was born to James Hughes and Carrie Langston Hughes on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was young and he went to live with his grandmother (Langston Hughes). Of the many experiences that influenced young Hughes to write about black life was living with his Grandmother, Mary Hughes. Hughes’s grandmother

Langston Hughes: The Harlem Dream Essay

1744 words - 7 pages , of merging one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tap of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness- an American, a Negro; two souls. Two un-reconciled strivings, two warring ideals in one dark body…" During the Harlem Renaissance double consciousness played an important role within the artist and their work. Langston Hughes and his steel driven opinion of how a true Negro

The Biography Of Langston Hughes Essay

867 words - 3 pages songs they sang on Seventh Street...(these songs) had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going." At this same time, Hughes accepted a job with Dr. Carter G. Woodson, editor of the Journal of Negro Life and History and founder of Black History Week in 1926. He returned to his beloved Harlem later that year. Langston Hughes received a scholarship to Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. degree in 1929. In 1943, he