Let America Be America Again
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The Minority Perspective on America
In the poem "Let America Be America Again," Langston Hughes shows the depressed state America was in during the 1930's. To many in America at this time, the American Dream had escaped their grasp and hopelessness had filled this void. In this poetic expression, the speaker is voices the silent Americans' concern of how America was intended to be, verses what it had become to them, and could aspire to be again. For many this poem expresses the hopelessness that the minorities, women, aged, and those of lower economic statuses faced. This caused the lowering of their hope and added to the problems of the economic depression of the time.
The speaker and listener interact with each other throughout the poem. This is seen through the use of such lines as ‘(America never was America to me)’ (line 5). This interaction causes the reader/listener to be pulled in to the feelings of the speaker in the poem.
Another issue addressed in this poem is that America is not the ideal to all of its people. The original speaker begins using a four-line stanza. This becomes irregular after the listener responds to the speaker. This indicates the passion felt by both parties and the hopelessness of them as well. This poem also projects urgency in the message, which is the need for equality for all men (women). The listener's response contains the main idea of the piece, showing the differences between the American Dream to the American Reality for those who are victims because of race, (gender), age, or economic status. The author's careful use of alliteration in phrases such as "pushed apart" (line 19), where the p sound is predominate, and "slavery's scars" (line20), where the s sound is predominate, emphasizes the struggles and alienation experienced by less fortunate minority Americans who lived in this time of crisis.
The speaker begins the narration by making a statement that America should return to th...
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