Explication Of Langston Hughes Works

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Langston Hughes Explication In this explication of works by Langston Hughes, I will explore his poems “Merry-Go-Round”, “Po’ Boy Blues”, “Democracy”, and “Freedom’s Plow”. Throughout his writing career, Hughes was a prolific and significant figure in both the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights Movement and constantly took stances regarding one or the other or both in his poetry. In this explication, we will explore how Hughes expressed his concerns over civil rights through writing in attempt to better understand the reasons and meanings within his works. Merry-Go-Round The first thing I think most of us 20th century readers notice about Langston Hughes’ Merry-Go-Round is the language that immediately draws our minds back to the Jim Crow era. In the first line before the poem itself actually begins, there is a line that reads “COLORED CHILD AT CARNIVAL”. It is a simple line that I believe attracts more attention than originally intended to. The word “colored” itself is very symbolic of the Jim Crow mindset that was prevalent in the South at the time when Hughes is writing this piece (Rampersad). The poem is told from a first person perspective of with a free verse rhyme scheme. Hughes appears to be trying to show readers the cruelty of racism by giving us a child who has done no wrong but seemingly seeks to punish himself by segregating himself from white riders of the merry-go-round. There is no reason to believe the child has done anything wrong, however, he knows that he should not be given the same privileges as his white counterparts. The fact that an innocent children learned throughout their youth that they were not equal is a tragic point that Hughes makes very clear in this poem. Po’ Boy Blues Langston Hughes’ Po’ Boy Blues is a poem about a man who is longing for a life he used to know. The poem has a very unique rhyme scheme. Its format
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