Democracy Langston Hughes

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“I swear to the Lord, I still can 't see, why Democracy means, everybody but me.” (Langston Hughes). The term “democracy” is known as a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, but it had a different meaning to Langston Hughes. Hughes’ main goal in his lifetime was racial equality. He felt that African Americans had the same democratic rights as everyone else, therefore sharing the poem “Democracy” with the world in 1949. The poem, directed towards African Americans specifically, explains the importance of standing up and making a difference and fighting for racial equality. Although the poem is not specific about race, readers know the intended audience based on Hughes’ background. If the world were…show more content…
The 1900’s were a miserable time for African Americans, but out of these miserable times came amazing poets such as Langston Hughes whose sole purpose was change. Hughes’, through writing, encouraged others to fight for change, and out of that writing came “Democracy”. “Democracy” is a bitter-toned poem that describes how African Americans will never be equal if you simply wait for it to happen without action and fear fighting for it. You need to make it happen. He makes this clear by stating “Democracy will not come today, this year nor ever through compromise and fear,” (Hughes 1-4), in the opening of the poem. Since readers know that this poem was written in 1949 by an African American poet, it is clear what the audience and message is. The main problem in the early 1900’s was racism. If this poem was published today and given to society with the changed audience, the message would completely change. With the topic of democracy in politics today, the main issue is social class. If one…show more content…
Hughes’ original purpose in writing “Democracy” was racial equality since it was written in a time period that race was the main issue, but since problems change, introducing the poem to society today would change the meaning completely. Hughes gave us “Democracy” to fight for his problems and encourage others to fight too in his time period trying to make change, which is why receiving this poem today would call out to those of the lower class, also wanting change. Literature is perceived differently based on audience which is shown by taking just one line of “Democracy” and changing the intended audience. Changing the time period changes the audience which changes the meaning, which shows that audience and purpose are just as important as one
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