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Langston Hughes - Essay Example

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Langston Hughes Langston Hughes was a remarkable, novelist, columnist, playwright and a social activist of twentieth century. Hughes was, undoubtedly, a Negro Artist who presented a true picture of “low-life” the black race was subjected to live. Tracy describes Hughes as a persistent and the most wide-ranging writer among the African-Americans of twentieth century (Tracy, pg…
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Langston Hughes Essay
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Download file to see previous pages Hughes is primarily acknowledged as a poet because of his great contribution in this genre. The sufferings of the Africans and the deprivation of their basic rights disturbed Hughes and he gave voice to his anger through his poetry using innovative techniques. He was known as ‘the poet laureate of Harlem’ for his being a distinguished member of the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ as he presented himself as a true representative of many African-Americans by demonstrating their strength and experiences using their language and depicted their struggle against the prejudice that white man held for them. He aptly described the discriminatory behaviour the African-American faced in the society. Heyward, at the publication of Hughes’ first book admired him in “New York Herald Tribune” saying that it was so promising as to make his career as a poet worth watching. According to him, Hughes, though quite young, was a conspicuous writer among the black intellectuals who glorified Harlem by presenting a true picture of life in art form. He praised Hughes as a purely individual poet rather than a member of a group of intellectuals or a representative of a racial movement as he was enthusiastic about his work, attracted towards beauty, highly subjective and contained a tenacious musical sense (Heyward, D. B., 1926). Though Hughes emerged as a remarkable poetic figure in literary circle of his time, he faced much criticism from his contemporary black intellectuals for revealing an unattractive and unsophisticated side of the black community. “Fine Clothes to the Jews” faced worst criticism from the Negro writers for having true picture of black community that demonstrated their economical and political plight. Hughes himself describes, the criticism he faced, in his autobiography “The Big Sea” that the book was complimented by white press and national magazines but the black intellectuals did not approve its worth. “LANGSTON HUGHES’BOOK OF POEM TRASH” was the big headline that ran on the page of “Pittsburgh Courier. The New York Amsterdam News made a headline LANGSTON HUGHES-THE SEWER DWELLER, The Chicago Whip called him as a ‘the poet low-rate of Harlem’ and the book was considered as a disgrace to the black as they wanted to present their polished culture. Estace Gay commented on Hughes’ ‘Fine Clothes to the Jew’ that he was not concerned with the idea that every poem of the book depicted true life. He discouraged the idea of parading their society before American readers and made the imperfections to be observed by public. Hughes sympathized with such intellectuals and critics who tried themselves and expected other Negro writers to portray the most beautiful side of the black. He expressed that he knew only few such black who lived a first-class life and he was not able to write much about them though they were good in his eyes. He presented those people in his poetry with whom he was grown up, observed their lives closely and depicted it in a true sense. Many critics appreciated Hughes’ way of presenting reality as he remained faithful in recording the frustration that he found in his people. Baxter recognized Hughes as a literary figure who not only inspired the people who belonged to his culture but also the others who read his books. He was a true spokesman of African-Americans in all of his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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