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What is a summary of Langston Hughes' poem "Life Is Fine"?

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Quick 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.

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Full Answer

In the first stanza, the speaker walks to the river, sits on the bank trying to think, then jumps in. In the second stanza, he jumps and hollers because the water is so cold. If it was not so cold, he might have stayed in and died. In the fourth stanza, the speaker takes the elevator to his 16th-floor apartment and thinks about his lost love. He thinks about jumping, but because he is so high up, he just hollers and cries.

In the seventh stanza, he decides that since he is still alive, he will just keep on living. In the eight stanza, he admits that people may see him holler and cry, but they are not going to see him die. In the final line, the speaker declares that life is fine. The poem is about a man who is able to remain strong in spirit in the face of adversity. In the end, the speaker chooses life.

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