Life Is Fine By Langston Hughes Essays

782 Words Mar 18th, 2016 4 Pages
“Life is Fine” was written by famous Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes (Boyd). This poem was published in 1949 (Flores), and tells the story of a man whom seems to be suffering from a heartbreak and contemplating suicide, and then makes the decision to live on. Hughes uses the literary elements of point of view and repetition to convey his message of self-actualization. The title of the poem, “Life is Fine”, seems optimistic. A reader may expect the poem to be about what makes life fine, or the good things in life. Hughes starts the poem “Life is Fine” with the lines “I went down to the river, / I set down on the bank (1-2).” From the very first lines of this poem, it is apparent that the poem is being told by a man in his point on view. The poem is about the man’s self and the actions he took. The poem then goes on to say “I tried to think but couldn’t, / So I jumped in and sank (3-4).” The man in the poem is attempting to commit suicide, opposing what the reader might have inferred from the title. As it becomes obvious that life is not fine for this man, the poem takes a depressing turn. The next stanza states “I came up once and hollered! / I came up twice and cried (5-6)!” These lines represent the man having a breakdown, and possibly contemplating what he was about to do. Then it says “If that water hadn’t a-been so cold / I might’ve sunk and died (7-8).” This is the first instance of when the man decides to live instead of die. Then, italicized, the poem…

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