Let America Be America Again Lanston Hughes

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Hughes contrasts realism vs. idealism of America, hope vs. depression and personal view of America vs. public view and through these contrasts, Hughes is able to explain how he is optimistic about the future while living in a very troubled time as well as give opinions to readers about America, good and bad. First, through the usage of juxtaposition, Hughes is able to give a description of how American ought to be vs. how it really is, showing the difference between America now and America hopefully in the future. He touches base on many wonderful patriotic pictures of America, but then contradicts them with revealing the reality of America. For example, “Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed/let it be that great strong land of love/where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme/that any man be crushed by one above” (Hughes 8-9). Hughes is describing America as this “great strong land of love,” which triggers readers’ emotions and makes them feel a desire to go to America in order to seek this love. Contrarily, by saying words like “let it be,” he is saying Americas has not come to the point or has strayed away from the point of love and he wants it for the future. From these two points, Hughes paints a picture of optimism and patriotism but reveals the harsh reality of America by giving the description of America as a place where “king connive… and man be crushed by ones above,” for the immigrants and the poor. This confirms that the current standard of living in America is not acceptable, and he hopes that in the future things will be different. Another example of juxtaposition shown is through man vs. environment, that is, in a society of poverty, greed and power of wealth: I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek, and finding only the same old stupid plan of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak, I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

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