The poem is very effective because of its genuine emotions. He is treated as if he is an embarrassment to the white people, and made to feel inferior to them. He wants the reader to understand that this is not just a personal experience, but a voice of his people.
The tone changes throughout the poem. In the first line, the tone is patriotic. In the next stanza, the tone is of anger and strength. The man is enraged at how he is treated, but he knows he is strong enough to fight back. The man warns the people, that he will become powerful, and that no one will dare to harm him in the future. Then in the next stanza, the tone changes once again. The poem begins and ends with single lines.
In between there are 3 stanzas, all of which have different number of lines-6, 7 and 3. The purpose for the irregular structure is to create an effect of unequalness, symbolizing the discrimination he is receiving.
It could also reflect the uneducated class, or the clarity and simplicity of their just complaint. The fact that the poem is short and simple but can express so much meaning shows how the diction of this poem adds to its effectiveness. The poet uses a lot of domestic images. The poem also contains a few metaphors and symbols.
Metaphors and symbols are used because they say what we want to say, more vividly and forcefully. The literal meaning means the employers send him away when guests arrive. The following sample paper on Hughes highlights some of his work that fell in line with this perspective.
If you are working on this topic, consider using essay editing services from Ultius and see how our writers can help you. Historically, human beings have been characterized in different groups according to physical characteristics. The racism associated with African-Americans was a general experience that persisted even after the abolishment of slavery. One effective means of alleviating racial stereotyping was relating African-Americans to whites within the same context of being American citizens.
Langston Hughes, in his short poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers, utilized this concept to generalize not just being American, but the overall human experience throughout history. The shared heritage of American History was the key point in promoting unity despite the perceived differences among blacks and whites.
Essentially, Singleton argued that factors like decline in societal cohesion, the aftermath of the civil war and cultural leadership that emerged for both blacks and whites were shared experiences that black literature was based on Singleton, The essential premise is that sharing common experiences promotes a sense of unity in a certain sense.
To exemplify, just as German and French soldiers fought in the trenches during WWII , they still shared the common experience of war.
In using common experiences, black literature began to have meaning to both blacks and whites. Hughes capitalized on this concept. The Negro Speaks of Rivers utilized historical elements from not only recent American history at the time, but global history from the birth of civilization to the abolishment of slavery. Hughes elegantly traced back experiences limited to not only blacks and whites, but to all human beings. In doing so, he related the black experience to a much broader context than race or ethnicity, but being human in general.
Here, the relation of blacks is to early civilizations like Mesopotamia and Syria along with Africa. Finally, Hughes concluded by integrating an anecdote of Abraham Lincoln traveling down the Mississippi river on his way to New Orleans, a highly centralized black community in the south.
Therefore, Hughes effectively integrated important historical events to present a shared experience by all people, not just blacks. This work did not rely on the exclusivity of African-American experiences like segregation , slavery and life in Africa. Moreover, Hughes inclusion of the concept of human blood and veins suggests the theme of life and connectivity. For instance, ancient cultures built their civilizations around rivers and bodies of water because they were ideal habitats for fostering continuous life within large groups of humans.
In relation, the blood in human bodies makes life possible to sustain by keeping the organism alive as blood is constantly pumped throughout the body. Under the theme of life, this quote suggests that rivers and human blood flowing are both a timeless and essential human experience throughout history.
Since these elements were not limited to blacks, whites, or any ethnicity, Hughes utilized the broader context of the human condition, not just the black experience. The effectiveness of Hughes poem stems from the fact that he utilized cultural elements on a broad scope to relate to whites.
Indeed, recent scholarship suggests that an effective tool in literature is the cultural element. This cultural element was effective because it was not exclusive; instead, it related to the human condition of shared experiences and events. This element allowed Hughes to successfully draw from African-American culture and promote black heritage without fear or shame Dawahare, In using cultural elements like historical events that included people of all races and skin tones, Hughes epitomized the perspective of a shared world that everyone contributed to.
Instead, the African-American perspective is woven equally into the fabric of history of time along with every other race. This suggests that there is mutual respect for life and other cultures within the context of his poem. Hughes poem was also effective because it overshadowed the context of just America, but took a global perspective.
Free Langston Hughes papers, essays, and research papers.
Free Essay: Harlem, An Analysis of a Langston Hughes Poem The short but inspirational poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes addresses what happens to.
Langston Hughes: Poems essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of poetry by Langston Hughes. Essays and criticism on Langston Hughes - Hughes, Langston - (Poetry Criticism).
Free Essay: Analysis of Harlem by Langston Hughes Through the turbulent decades of the 's through the 's many of the black Americans went through. Harlem by Langston Hughes "Harlem" is a short poem by Langston Hughes who is a known African American writer of the 's. Hughes poem "Harlem" inquires what happens to dreams deferred. /5(2).