Analysis Of Jamilya By Langston Hughes

1161 Words5 Pages
Are the aims and goals of a group as a whole more important than one 's own desires and ambitions? The answer to this question can go as far as to define what kind of person one truly is and what culture he or she belongs to; an
"individualist" culture, or a "collectivist" culture. The former of the two being the culture most commonly regarded as selfish and self-oriented, and is more prevalent in western societies; whereas the latter is viewed as the more selfless and group- oriented, and is more widespread in Eastern societies, such as that of Central Asia.
The texts South to Samarkand by Langston Hughes and Jamilya by Aitmatov, which are both set in Central Asia, seem to have quite contrasting approaches to the raised question. In Jamilya,
…show more content…
They only had one matter in mind in the end; themselves and their own well-being and happiness. This is only natural because no one in this world would ever choose the aims and goals of a group as a whole over his or her own unless those aims and goals happen to coincide with personal interests in the long run. In order to fully understand why Hughes, a man of a primarily individualistic culture, begins to develop collectivistic attitudes, one must first become familiar with his background. Langston Hughes was a black man from the
United States of the early twentieth century. At that time, in the United States, black people were still openly discriminated against and the notorious Jim Crow Signs were still used to continue to enforce the unjust segregation of the races. It was a time when Langston Hughes himself didn’t have the rights others of his race have today, he couldn’t vote, he couldn 't even take the seat he wanted on the bus. As expected he was dissatisfied with how things were run in his own country, and seeing the Soviet revolution in action in Central Asia sparked his interest. He was taken by what can be called in a sense the Soviet dream, where no man was discriminated
…show more content…
Knowing that, is it possible to believe that he would have praised the communist regime if he was living in the United States of today? Evidence from the text suggests otherwise. When Koestler asked Hughes for the reason why he did not join the Communist Party, Hughes responded," I had heard concerning the Party indicated that it was based on strict discipline and the acceptance of directives that I, as a writer, did not wish to accept. I did not believe political directives could be successfully applied to creative writing….to poetry and fiction, which to be valid, I felt, had to express the individual emotions and reactions of the writer." Here Hughes is saying that, as artist, he valued self-expression and he did not believe that it should be in anyway restricted. Thus this leads one to believe that if
Hughes were given the choice between a communist government and a fair liberal one with creative freedom, he would have most definitely chosen the latter. Because he would have not only gained equal rights and respect but also the freedom he needed as an artist. It was not a matter of acting as a collectivist or an individualist in
Open Document