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Literary Analysis Of Langston Hughes

1611 words - 6 pages

It seems as though racism has been an issue in this world since the beginning of time. Many people, in all walks of life, have tried to bring awareness to this and cease it from existing. This has been done in countless ways, whether it be group associations, speeches by those in the public eye, or even by passing laws. There is one form of this movement, however, that has stood out beyond all others in the attempt to change things, and has made this issue the most real and inspiring. Langston Hughes utilized his writings to make the experience of racism and life of African- Americans so authentic that those who had never experienced racism could now feel the true sting of it's lashing.One of Langston Hughes' strongest wishes was for the entire black race to be proud of themselves, and of their culture. He was discouraged by those who wasted their talent in the arts by doing mediocre work that lacked the impact of their background. His intent for these artists was for them to use art to portray the true content of their way of life, to open the world's eyes to the fact that these people had much to offer. Hughes once said in an essay, published in the Nation, One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, 'I want to be a poet-not a Negro poet,' meaning, I believe, 'I want to write like a white poet'; meaning behind that, 'I would like to be white.' and I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself. And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet (Gates 1311).Hughes' frustration came because this man was conforming to what he thought was socially acceptable, and not what was true about himself. He wanted the man to write like a black poet because he was a black poet. Hughes hoped for a more confident black race in the days of tomorrow, he ended his essay with a wish for the coming artists,We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. […..] If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn't matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves (Gates 1314).Hughes did not only use words in his writing to convey the identity of his race, and give the reader a true understanding of them, he used many poetic devices. He did not write his works in formal diction but rather in vulgate sense of the language. His misspellings and sometimes poor grammar was intentional, so that the reader could perceive the meaning in the way that Hughes intended. Although some resented this sort of stereotype, it received praise from those who understood his intentions.The astonishing feature of Langston Hughes' art is his unerring re-...

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