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How is Let America be America applicable to today's America - Essay Example

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Name of the Writer Name of the Instructor Subject Date Submitted How is "Let America be America" applicable to today's America? Introduction Poets and philosophers over the ages have written many things about America and its ideals. There is a strong belief even today that the American nation is ‘the land of the free, the home of the brave’…
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of the of the Submitted How is "Let America be America" applicable to today's America? Introduction Poets and philosophers over the ages have written many things about America and its ideals. There is a strong belief even today that the American nation is ‘the land of the free, the home of the brave’. The Founding Fathers certainly believed in this ideal and worked to ensure that the original 13 States signing the Declaration of Independence gained freedom from oppression and were free of the yoke of the British. In this short poem ‘Let America be America’ the poet Langston Hughes laments that America today has been straying from its ideals of being the bastion of civil rights and ensuring civil liberties in the free world. He is saddened that America has lost it way and says that he never felt true freedom in the USA. He appeals to the reader and indeed the general public at large that they should work to bring back America to the status of the leader of the free world. This poem was written in 1935 in the Great Depression Era (Rampersad, 4) but is relevant even today. Explanation This selection consists of two stanzas. In the first stanza (Hughes, 725) the poet says that the USA should revert to the ideal of being a dream fulfilled, as the leader of the free world. Just like the part of mankind searching for freedom from oppression, America should be a pioneer in ensuring that people enjoy freedom from oppression and enjoy civil liberties as their basic right, across the civilized world. This is a democratic ideal and America has been known to champion the cause of democracy across the world in the present times. It regards democracy to be the best system of Government because the people elect their own representatives who then are entrusted with the duty of serving the people in the most effective and efficient manner. In the second stanza, Hughes goes on to reiterate that the USA should be the land that the dreamers dreamed- here again referencing the Founding Fathers no doubt. He states that everyone in the USA should love America for its own sake for it is the land they live in and grow and prosper through the best and worst of times. Rather he states that America should be a place where neither kings nor tyrants scheme so that one man is oppressed by another. Sadly, this is not the case anymore, laments Hughes. We can see the truth behind these lines if we reflect on the status of America in today’s world. Most of the world regards it as a bully and the Muslim World its arch enemy. Many think that the world was far more peaceful when Russia existed as a second superpower and provided a balance of power. Democracy exists only in name and the veto power of former President George H.W. Bush was used to override many decisions of Parliament and continue the War on Terror at a scale that has wiped out our solvency and increased our national debt to insurmountable levels. It seems we have unearthed a Frankenstein in the Muslim world as we struggle to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and limit our losses. The clash of civilizations is far from over and most see it as an unashamed battle for oil and other resources rather than having a true ideological base. It is high time we called our troops home and healed our wounds, instead of fighting a prolonged war that makes no sense and weakens our reputation in the civilized world. Even at home, the evils of capitalism have caused a deep divide and mistrust between the rich and the poor, the-have and the have-nots. Lobbying ensures that Government can be manipulated to promoting private interests. It’s time to take heed and make a change. Works Cited DiYanni, R. (2008). Literature Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (2nd Ed.). Print. McGraw Hill. Rampersad, A. (1994). The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, 1st ed. Print. Knopf. Read More
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