Analysis Over "let America Be America Again" - Blinn - Essay

1064 words - 5 pages

Mitchell 1
Kyle Mitchell
ENGL 1302
5 February 2019
“Let America Be America Again”
Poetry, in a sense, let’s the author paint vivid thoughts and feelings with words on a page
that illustrate particular intuitions onto a short complex diary. Langston Hughes was one of the
many to tell his short stories one of his pieces, “Let America Be America Again” poem, where
he thoroughly used America as an extended metaphor to express his thoughts on the so called,
American Dream. This idea of “The land of the free, the home of the brave” wasn’t in America’s
reach anymore in Hughes’ eyes. Throughout the poem, Hughes work varied in different forms of
figurative language. Which illustrated the image of how the American Dream had slipped
through the hands of the ones who built it, what it had become, and his call to action: what it
could metamorphosize into.
Firstly, one can clearly feel the tone and passion coming from Hughes when he
states, “Let America Be America again” (1). This demanding statement shows how fervent
he is about his country. The author uses his tone to create a patriotic mood which in turn makes
his theme evident to the reader. He wants America to go back to the creed that was promised in
the beginning, “Let it be the dream it used to be. / Let it be the pioneer on the plain” (Hughes
2-3). The author again uses mood to persuade and call other Americans to action to fight for the
true American Dream. The place everyone wanted to go to “start over” where there was new
Mitchell 1
beginnings, opportunities, and most of all, freedom. His word choice carries a passionate voice
behind it, pleading for change.
Additionally, Hughes wants to move forward from the oppressiveness and selfish
tendencies of America’s past, “Where kings connive nor tyrants scheme / that any man crushed
by one above” (7-8). Through his diction he encourages the reader to understand that the country
that was once sought out for its good, is lapsed by the same wickedness we were trying to
withdraw from. He challenges one to move away from the unpatriotic ideals of discrimination,
hate, and injustice to turn the country back to its origin. For Example, “Opportunity is real, and
life is free, / Equality is in the air we breath” (Hughes 11-12). Just as this gives meaning behind
Hughes claim, there is a self motivated drive to which he relates on a very personal level as to
why he wrote this piece and used his specific diction.
Moreover, During the time period when this piece was being written the Harlem
Renaissance was taking place. The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual, social, and artistic
exploration that took place in Harlem, New York. During this time of the poem it was called the
“New Negro Movement”. In those years, there was no equality for everyone. Hughes fell under
that category. One notes this by Hughes’ way of connecting with the listeners through dialogue
with a rhetorical question and metaphores. In italicized form after the third quatrain, Hughes’
asks ...

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