An Analysis Of Langston Hughes The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

Superior Essays
World War I & Poetry Arising during the 1920’s, a time period where strong animosity ran deep between the colored and the Caucasian, Langston Hughes (who is my favorite poet of all time) shined a luminous spotlight on the African American community through his writing in a way that no other writer during his time was able to match. Amongst other emerging black writers, Hughes led the parade of the Harlem Renaissance where a faucet of culture trickled in self expression through music, art, and literature. Writers like himself expressed raw emotion through their written works. Hughes served as the voice of thousands of African Americans living through tough times and oppression. Throughout this poem, Hughes uses rivers to paint a symbolic image …show more content…
There is what serves as an introduction from lines 1-3, the main idea in line 4, supporting details from lines 5-10, and a conclusion from lines 11-13. Notice how the line, “I’ve known rivers” (1 and 8) is repeated twice in the poem; once in the beginning and once towards the end. Another repeated line in the same fashion is, “My soul has grown deep like the rivers” (3 and 10). By repetition, Hughes is reiterating the most important points of the poem. This also helps conclude his poem in a very smooth fashion, bringing it full …show more content…
In doing so, he hopes to educate those who were left in the dark about the truth of his people, to bring many piece of mind. Behind each line of this poem, there are thousands of voices; people who could not speak for themselves. There was an integral lesson that Hughes wanted to teach in writing this poem: the existence of African Americans did not start on a ship, coming to America in chains. Their history is rich and deep, and Hughes put his efforts in making that clear. He expresses the ancient history of his people through its relationship to rivers. The soul, history, heart and strength of his people are all presented through the

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