Analysis Of Langston Hughes 's The Big Sea ( Gates And Mckay 1251 )

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Langston Hughes has been revered as the "’O. Henry of Harlem,’ the ‘Dean of Negro Writers in America,’ and the ‘Negro Poet Laureate,’" as well as “’the Poet Laureate’ of Black America’” (Scott 1; Waldron 140). He was a pivotal figure in the Harlem Renaissance and, in fact, defined the movement from a literary point of view. He also contributed an unsurpassed personal account of the movement in his autobiography The Big Sea (Gates and McKay 1251). Hughes was a prolific writer and produced plays, novels, autobiographies, newspaper columns, African American histories, short stories, books for juveniles, and anthologies, as well as poems (Scott 1). His poetic creations embody some of the most characteristic aspects of African American poetry including, musicality, concentration on the Black experience, and the veneration of Black cultural heroes.
One of the most conspicuous features of African American poetry is its musical quality. The primary expression of this musicality is the blues. While many authors have attempted to integrate the blues into their works, few have been as successful as Hughes in doing so (Waldron 140). Hughes believed jazz was “the eternal tom-tom beating in the Negro soul--the tom-tom of revolt against weariness in a white world, a world of subway trains, and work, work, work; the tom-tom of joy and laughter, and pain swallowed in a smile” (Hughes “Negro Artist,” para. 12). “Dream Boogie” demonstrates Hughes’ incorporation of blues rhythms as well…

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