"Let America Be America Again" Analysis

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Jacob Budisantoso Ms. Morrison AP Literature Period 2 5 March 2013 When Will “America Be America Again”: Poetic Analysis In Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America Be America Again,” Hughes’s persona argues the America (land of the free and equal) posses as a façade to the prejudice discrimination and abuse of the American minorities, yet the persona remains optimistic that change will come allowing “America [to] be America Again.” The prejudice discrimination and abuse presents itself in the poem at the beginning to prove the American dream does not meet the status quo it stands for. The persona’s derives hope from the frustration and anger of oppression converting it into a proactive approach to revert America to its original purpose: provide freedom to those who seek it and equality to those who did not have any. And that this hope to regain the former dream lies with the unity of America and its youth to seize the opportunity and relight the flame of equality. In Hughes’s poem, he expresses that America presents its association with freedom and equality falsely. Hughes reveals this gilded symbol of liberty with a series of statements alluding to America’s beginning: “pioneer[ing] on the plain … [to] equality,” but the persona’s rebuttals that America’s past does not reflect its present state. That the oppressed blacks remain oppressed in a “dog eat dog” scenario. With the “veil” pulled aside, Hughes shifts focus illuminating the oppression of American minorities; he presents the “poor white…, Negro.., red man…, immigrant…,” as the focus of the oppression and discrimination reminiscent of the monarchies. In relation to the monarchies, Hughes mentions the various occupations a modern monarchy would impose on its oppressed “serf” populace. In identifying the oppression applies to all minorities, Hughes reveals a more direct association with African-American as

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