The poem "Democracy" by Langston Hughes is about the importance of attaining and fighting for democracy. The narrator emphasizes that it is something men and women have a right to, and should feel empowered to achieve. By living in the U.S., democracy is a freedom that the narrator is entitled to, and should not have to wait for.Continue Reading
"Democracy" was published in 1949. It addressed issues faced by African Americans in the United States, namely that the 15th Amendment had not come to fruition for all Americans. At one time, not all Americans could vote due to a poll tax, required literacy tests and a stipulation in the amendment that only African American men could vote. The right to vote is a freedom granted in a democracy, and a freedom that the poem concerns itself with in its discussion of democracy.
Langston Hughes' poem encouraged people not to take the issue of democracy lightly. He did not directly mention race, but the majority of his work was concerned with life for African Americans in the United States. Hughes was often criticized by his contemporaries for portraying life in such a negative fashion. However, his writing was politicized, and as such, he sought to produce poems with a message.Learn more about Literature
"Thank You Ma'am" is a story about a young boy named Roger who tries to steal a purse from a woman named Luella Bates Washington Jones. After sending Roger flying onto the sidewalk, Mrs. Jones picks him up, takes him home, cleans him up, feeds him and gives him the money he tried to steal. As the boy leaves, he wants to say, "Thank you, ma'am," but cannot.Full Answer >
In the poem "Life Is Fine" by Langston Hughes, the speaker talks about things he might do if other circumstances did not exist. For one, if the water in the river was not so cold, he would stay in and drown. If his apartment had not been so high, he might have jumped from it and died.Full Answer >
Frequently referred to incorrectly as "Dreams" or ""Dream Deferred," the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes first appeared in print in 1951. The short poem appeared originally as part of the poetry collection titled "Montage of a Dream Deferred."Full Answer >
When performing critical analysis of the poetry of Langston Hughes, readers should be aware of the context and time during which the poem was written and the cadence of the poem. Hughes wrote about the experiences of working-class African-American people across the entire span of his work.Full Answer >