Tuesday, March 26, 2019
The Negro Speaks of Rivers :: Literature Analysis, Langston Hughes
The Negro speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes is a compelling poem in which Hughes explores non totally his own past, entirely the past of the sick race. As the rivers vary over sequence, the Negros soul does too their waters eternally flow, as the black soul suffers.Analyzing the poems title sets a somber, yet swaggering tone for this poem. The fact that the title does not say I Speak of Rivers, but instead, The Negro Speaks of Rivers (1) shows that he is not only a Negro, but that he is not one specific Negro, but in his first-class honours degree person commentary, he is speaking for all Negroes. However, he is not fitting speaking for any Negroes. Considering the allusions to Mississippi (9) and Abe Lincoln (9) ar not only to Negroes but also to America, confirms that Hughes is talking for all African Americans. This poem is a proclamation on the whole of African American history as it has grown and flourished along the rivers which gave life to these people. The dicti on of antediluvian (3) proves once to a greater extent that Hughes is talking about the history and roots of African Americans. The word antique itself means something that is decrepit, old, and primitive, clearly a word to be used when discussing a history and a journey. This word, which was repeated twice in the passage, emphasizes that there has been a long and difficult wait for equality for blacks. That although they have been around since ancient (3) times, since so long before, they still are fighting for racial equality.Hughes emphasizes his nitty-gritty consistently throughout this poem, weaving in the most important musical note in the middle and end of the poem. He is representing his people. African Americans have waited and been treat by society, and this deepened and weathered their souls over time, just as a river would set about deepened and weathered. Hughes soul, the collective soul of African Americans, has become deep like the rivers (5). This parable spea ks that the rivers are part of the body, and contribute to this immortality that Hughes is so desperate to achieve for his people. Rivers are the earthly symbols of eternity deep, constant, mystifying.The rivers are named in a specific methodicalness in the order of their association with black history. By using some allusions, the context of which Hughes wants to draw attention to is evident. He begins when dawns were young (6), which refers to a time when blacks were used as slaves along the Euphrates in Western Asia, and ends with the Emancipation resolve of Abe Lincoln (9) when slaves were finally freed men.
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