Free Essay on the American Dream Theme in Langston Hughes' Poetry

Published: 2017-07-14
Free Essay on the American Dream Theme in Langston Hughes' Poetry
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Poem Langston Hughes American dream
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 738 words
7 min read

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Going through the poems Let America be America Again, Harlem, Open Letter to the South, and Theme for English B, it is evident that Langston Hughes uses his speakers to relate to the major themes which was significant to the time frame of the poems. There are different voices showing an individual with probably a deferred dream in Harlem, a young black student facing racism issues in college in Theme for English B, in Let America be America a man looks for the American dream. An Open Letter to the South voices a story about a black worker seeking unity for all the workers. Their relation to the various themes such as the grit in the face of inequality, failure of the American dream, the pursuit of liberation through unity is quite clear as one reads through the poems. The tone of the speakers and the setting of the poems help determine how they relate to the main themes stated before. The speaker in each poem sets a tone of their current attitude towards the theme and how they have been affected by them. Throughout the poem, each speaker expresses his or her feelings, concerns and disappointment. However, upon the realization of their current relation to themes, they take a critical path in establishing new strategies about the matter at hand. Langston has effectively related the characters to the topics in the poem to bring out fundamental issues crippling the society at the time of the poem's setting.

In all poems, there is a feeling that all speakers are disillusioned about an American dream.Despite being so promising and bright to the speakers, the dream seems now to be a fiction, not reality. The feeling of the failure is so immense to the speaker in Harlem that he reiterates that failure stinks like rotten eggs and the consequences sag on them like a heavy load (Schilb and Clifford 667). This disillusion resembles the one portrayed by Langston in real life circumstances. A similar example we see in Let America be America Again. The speaker creates a monolog showing his disappointment at a dream he never really saw happening. Instead, all he has related with to the present time is the inequality he faces and the lack of freedom in the supposedly free land. This must have been something he had waited for all, instead, he was fooled and pushed apart.

Despite the failure of the American dream, the grit of the speakers in the face of criticism is massive. In all four poems, each speaker shows an unmatched zeal among all the predicaments of the gone American dream. Questioning and probing into the failed dream bigger than just crashing out under pressure. This is what the speaker in Harlem does by asking all that goes and comes with a delayed dream (Schilb and Clifford 667). He does not give it up on eventuality but rather takes a probing approach in showing his grit in this rough time. A similar positive approach is seen in a speaker in his approach to the grit in the face of inequality. As a young man full of strength and hope he sees equality in the air, he breathes in. He is equally not deterred by the failure of the dream. Some things may have changed due to the failure of the American dream, but his zeal remains high and unmoved by the circumstances.The pursuit of liberation is probably the most emphasized theme in the poem. After the failure and the fumbling of the American dream, the speakers have adopted grit in a time of inequality and despair in which they have a pursuit for liberation.

The quest for liberation is the eventual aim of the speakers in their fight for freedom. After the isolation and hard times, it is important to develop a strong character and that demonstrated all of four speakers in the poems. The strategy could be through unity and abolition of common barriers that have prevented the movement towards a common goal. In the poems, the relation of the speakers to each of the themes is understood through their tone and attitude toward each of the main themes discussed. Though they experience different fates and circumstances, they all move towards a common goal of liberation. Langston through his characters tries to encourage people to come out of their predicaments, face a reality and never give up or in.

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