Langston Hughes Freedom's Plow Analysis

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Ton Nguyen PSCI 183 202 Spring 2018 Essay Prompt: In 'Freedom's Plow', Langston Hughes offers a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Consider this reading alongside the alternative Declarations we read for class. Do these documents point towards something missing from the Declaration of Independence? If so, what? The Declaration of an Impartial Independence The American political system was established on principles of founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence, which sought to prevent oppression, tyranny, and despotism. However, it can be argued that there are historical fallacies found in comparing the political theory and the lived reality of American citizens. I will outline how documents like “Freedom’s…show more content…
In stanza 10, Hughes analyzes Jefferson’s position on equality. The dichotomy of Jefferson’s portrayal in “Freedom’s Plow” and his active role and writing the Declaration of Independence reveals a hypocrisy in his actions. Jefferson states, “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Despite what he wrote, Jefferson owned slaves and did not grant them the same rights. Slaves were historically governed without consent. “Freedom’s Plow” seeks to recognize when a system is unjust so that they can redefine freedom to be inclusive of all men. Overthrowing an unjust system would be in line with the Declaration’s original purpose. Many revolutions that occurred after the American Revolution cited Jefferson's Declaration of Independence as justification in overthrowing a corrupt and dictatorial…show more content…
It calls for a reevaluation of how governing documents should be interpreted. By providing that the original Declaration had inconsistencies between the text and what happens in reality, it calls for people to act on their right to mold the political system into a just one. Works like “Freedom’s Plow” and these alternative declaration work to show that laws are not always implemented or upheld fairly. These works also show that politicians and their constituents should seek to learn from past mistakes, just as America was built by analyzing the grievances of the British rule over the
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