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Theme for English B by: Langston Hughes Literary Analysis

By Edited Feb 5, 2016 1 1

Langston Hughes

         After reading and analyzing Langston Hughes Theme for English B, one of the issues I felt that Hughes was expressing was that he wanted his voice heard. Shouting, screaming or yelling is not the way Hughes wants to become heard, but it’s more of him being able to state his own opinion and not have to feel he is wrong for doing so. I believe this because of the turning point in his writing. Hughes went from being neutral to being unique in his writing. In all a voice can open the door but it’s your own words that keeps you going and force others to have to listen. Furthermore this paper will confirm no matter what circumstances come against my argument, Langston Hughes goal was to become heard, regardless of the color of the skin that covered him.

        Hughes begins with questioning the assignment his instructor assigned. Then it transitioned to him describing where he came from and who he was in a way that he no longer stood out around those that appeared different from him. Although, lines twenty-five  through twenty-six  is where the turning point occurs. Where he begins to truly believe his color has nothing to do with the similarities to him and another race, it goes off of a person’s personality. In my opinion he is at the thinking stage  where it goes beyond his assignment. At this point these transitions to lines twenty-seven to thirty-three  is where his voice comes out. How he begins to question who he really was. Hughes also questioned the instructor and the writing he had already began to write. For instance “Is my paper the paper of a student?”  or “A paper written by a certain race?” Hughes questions are the process of him building a bridge that can connect both him and his instructor.

        Some could say as this writing developed the more and more this assignment turned into something completely different. I can image Hughes paper began as every other student in the class with the basic who, what, when, where and how, but it turned into something totally different. Race is the one thing the others cannot speak on, discrimination is something they cannot relate to and silence is never forced on them, but them forcing silence on another. Even his instructor, who has had more years on this earth than Hughes, still has not walked down the same path as him and almost certainly never will. This is what Hughes is trying to say and point out. His point is to tell about himself in a way unexpected by both the class and the instructor. He is talking about his life and color, but says it in but so many ways.

“So will my page be colored that I write?”(Hughes, 329) (4) is one of the most powerful lines in this poem, it says so much with just this simple line. Hughes tone changes with this one line. This is not a line one may whisper physically or mentally. The point is not that Langston Hughes is going to get up and yell at the class, he does not have to his words are doing the yelling, but it is his voice and tone that expresses them. Hughes has a clever way of expressing himself in a way where he is not disrespectful, but simply just asking questions and pointing out what he sees and feels. Leaving his professor to truly look at himself and complete a self-evaluation. If one really looks closely Hughes is calling his instructor out, putting him on the spot. The quote “Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.”(Hughes, 329) “Nor do I often want to be a part of you.”(Hughes, 329) Basically telling him I know how you feel about me and I know how you perceive me, however when it is all said and done we are more alike than anyone wants to acknowledge or accept.

        In Hughes conclusion, I felt he states why he desires his voice to become heard. Hughes no longer wants to feel excluded in a world where there should only be one class or as he states it, an American. He wants the freedom to like and feel what he wants, instead of feeling obligated to like and feel a certain way just to avoid being judged. In my opinion I began to read writing where the author seemed impassive, but to my surprise this same author ended screaming his opinion and demanding to stay heard. In a way Langston Hughes took the freedom or opportunity he was given by the instructor to stand up and say “I am a voice in this world and I deserve to be heard.”

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Comments

Mar 28, 2013 10:53am
Ernie
Thank you for a great review of Langston Hughes, Theme for English B.
Thumbs up!
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