Langston Hughes - Essay Example

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Langston Hughes is one of the most celebrated and well-known African-American poets and has been active around the middle of the 20th century, around the time when the Civil Rights Movement has been gaining ground. Hughes is much known for his insightful and colorful portrayals…
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Download file to see previous pages Through various literary devices for emphasis, themes dwelling on African-American heritage and in a simple language that many people can read, Hughes effectively presents the cultural diversity of an African-American not just to other races, but also most especially to his fellow African-Americans.
Hughes’ style of poetry shows his strong background in rhythm and a hint of jazz, evident in his use of imagery, simile, metaphor, caesura, and repetition of words or lines for emphasis. His poem “Danse Africaine” exemplifies the use of these elements to effectively portray a moving performance of a female dancer illuminated only by a camp fire. The steep buildup of excitement and anticipation was illustrated through the use of various adjectives pertaining to the slow beat and low tones of the drums before the dance, as exemplified by the first five lines:
Just like most presentations that have a beginning, a climax, and an ending Hughes repeated the theme he used for the first five lines such as the use of metaphor and the repetition of words, effectively establishing the poem’s rhythm and giving it its closure.
Hughes’ other poem, “Lenox Avenue: Midnight” also uses similar literary devices, as well as adding rhymes and allusion to give the poem a hint of drama. Effective choice of words in “DanseAfricaine” makes it appear to be building anticipation or excitement ahead, and Hughes used this same strategy to establish the sad and lonely theme of “Lenox Avenue: Midnight”, as evident in lines 5-10 of the poem:
The allusion in the poems that rain brings pain and implies feelings of loneliness or sorrow, and this line of thought establishes the poem’s sad and gloomy mood, similar to rhythm and blues. As with “DanseAfricaine”, Hughes also repeated the theme as well as the fourth line into the 14th line of the poem: “… the gods are laughing at us” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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