Metaphor And Symbolism In Langston Hughes's My People

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Metaphor and Symbolism in Langston Hughes’s
My People

My people is one of Langston Hughes’ poems which is about working class black African American people. In this poem, he compared the beauty of nature to the beauty of his people. My people is a very short poem, built in three stanzas which consist of two lines in each stanza. This poem was written in simple language, therefore, the readers can easily understand what he is trying to convey. I believe, beneath its simple words, this poem depicts the beauty of working class black African American people that go beyond the beauty of physical appearance.
In this poem Hughes employs metaphors in comparing the beauty of those different objects; night to faces, stars to eyes, and sun to souls.
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In the first stanza, it is written that “ The night is beautiful (1)… So the faces of my people (2)…”, as can be seen, he compares the beauty of the night to the beauty of the faces of his people. Night is dark. When the night comes, then the blackness rises, but do not forget that it is also in the night when we can witness many incredible things like fireflies or even the shooting stars. This is how Hughes wants us to portray the image of “his people”, they are black-skinned, but they still have their own beauty within themselves, which you can see through their faces. Hughes is trying to say that those two things, “night” and “my people” are dark but they both are …show more content…
That is why Hughes puts “stars” and “eyes” in one line. Hughes wrote this poem while the equality between white-skinned American people and the black-skinned African American people has not existed yet. However, despite the unfair treatments, the working class African American people never give up on their fate. They believed that one day, the equality between them and the white-skinned people will exist. It is hope what makes them survive. They always can see new hope for a better life, a better future.
Next, in the last stanza, Hughes wrote “Beautiful, also, is the sun (5)… Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people (6)…”, he compares his people to the sun, which mirrors the dignity and brilliance of their souls (Osbourne and Boghani, 2014). In addition, here in this stanza the sun is used to imply the symbols of strength and courage. When it is compared to the souls of the African American people, Hughes is trying to tell that the souls of “his people” are brilliant just like the sunshine. Their souls can warm everything that they embrace and they are full of spirit.

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