Langston Hughes[I Too and Let America Be America Again]


Langston Hughes began writing poems mainly about the world as evident through his eyes. According to him, the world was full of racial segregation and injustice. These issues seem to be the basis of the majority of the poems written by him. The poems, I Too (1925), and Let America Be America Again (1936), talk about racism, injustice, and inequality. In I Too, the poem is against discrimination, particularly the one depicted through racial injustices. The poem’s setting is in America where it describes the personal experiences of a black man dealing with racial discrimination. The white people often treat the black man as an embarrassment by ensuring he feels inferior. In the other poem, Hughes envisions an America that is full of democracy, liberty, and equality, but these values do not exist anymore in the country. The country has turned out to be a dictator scheme where powerful people deprive others of opportunities. Hughes becomes one of the representatives of the many people who have a similar dream but have to face the oppressive trends of a tyrannous America.

The tone in Let America Be America Again (1936) is that of anger and resentment because Langston Hughes feels that America has not lived up to the expectations of many people who came to the country with high hopes and dreams. These people feel disillusioned owing to the current wanting situation in the country. In the poem I Too (1925), the tone of the poet changes throughout the poem. The first line indicates a patriotic tone because of the incorporated national Anthem, which symbolizes harmony in the entire nation. The next stanza highlights anger and determination because the man is furious on the treatment he is receiving but confident that he will fight back. The following stanza tone is of caution as the man warns people that he has to be treated with respect and equality.

The poem, I, Too (1925), explores racial injustices from a black servant’s perspective. The black man endures racial discrimination while working for a white family. The other poem, “Let America Be America Again,” seems to depict a vivid word picture of a miserable America during the 1930’s. This romanticism highlights that many people living in America during this era felt that the American Dream was escaping from their grasp. The two poems are comparable because they have similar themes, which act as a representation of the personal tribulations faced by the author in terms of racial inequality. The comparison of the two poems provides a real glimpse of racism injustices in the 1920s in America.

Quiet Girl and Mother to Son by Langston Hughes are two poems, which talk about love and relationship, although in different contexts. The poem Quiet Girl comes out as a mean poem, as the poet calls a girl boring regardless of the fact that she sings well and has pretty eyes. It is evident that being with the girl makes the speaker at ease; similar to how a dreamless sleep calms his senses. At the same time, the poet says that her songs are not reassuring, but on the contrary, they are perplexing. It is evident that the girl in question is important to the poet but he does not want to agree with this fact. This is practical because she obviously awakens or excites him when she starts singing. When the poet is with the girl, it is as if he is in a dream and her songs have a tremendous effect on him.

On the other hand, Mother to Son is a free verse and a poem talking about relationship evident between a mother and his son during the Harlem Renaissance. The poem is appropriate in terms of the period it was written. It relates to the families going through depression, struggles, and the closeness evident between a mother and her son. This comes into focus in terms of understanding the connection between the times, which the poem was written as well the poem content. It is a poem, which shows love from a mother to her son, but at the same time, realistically symbolizes many mothers. Throughout the poem, the mother gives wisdom as well as advice to her younger son going through similar struggles and hopes that one day he will succeed. It seems like those lectures given to parents by their children but in a poetic structure.

The poem, Quiet Girl employs symbolism in several instances. For example, the poet uses the phrase a night without stars, sleeps without dreams to depict how the girl is boring, and to emphasize her boring nature. On the other hand, the poem, “Let America Be America Again,” make usage of connotation to evoke America fantastic patriotic images, which also makes the reader question the images. The lines in the poem such as, “Was American a “dream” for everyone, and “But opportunity is real, and life is free,” makes the reader to question the notion of opportunity in the country. Many of the lines apply connotation and appeals to one’s emotion. The images are vivid with the scars ideas depicting violence and slavery beatings that make the readers to become more passionate. The lines force any reader who has a conscience to remember atrocities that took place in America.

The tone in the poem, Let America Be America Again, helps in contributing to the poem’s meaning. The tone is confessional, which seems like the poet is discussing his experience in America. It is evident from the poem’s tone that there are flaws in equal opportunity as well as freedom notion. The rhetorical questions in the poem make the reader think about the poem’s themes and highlight the poem’s tone. The tone in the second poem is sarcastic as the poet tries to compare the woman to dreamless sleep in addition to a starless sky. At the same time, he says he cannot compare her to all these things because of her eyes and songs, which he thinks are great. The poet says he would compare the lady to a starless night, but her eyes are very bright and although he would compare her to dreamless sleep, her songs tend to arouse him.


The poems I, Too (1925) and Let America Be America Again (1936) discuss racism, injustice, and inequality. They vividly depict the discrimination and injustices brought about by racism. The themes in the two poems are similar as they are fighting against racism injustices and propagating hope for a better future, which embraces equality and justice. On the other hand, Quiet Girl and Mother to Son by Langston Hughes are two poems, which talk about love and relationship, although in diverse contexts. The first poem talks about the intimate relationship between a man and a woman, while the other depicts the relationship evident between a mother and her son. This shows the similarity between the two poems as they discuss relationships.


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