Langston Hughes Let Usa Be America Again Literary Devices

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Langston Hughes lived during a time of social inequality, prejudice, racism, and discrimination. As an African-American, he faced these unjust acts. Unlike today where those things are condemned, those things were condoned during Hughes' lifetime. Hughes' career spanned the Harlem Renaissance, when many African-Americans greatly contributed to literature, music, and art. Hughes wrote many poems about American society during his career. In 1936, he wrote the poem "Let America Be America Again" to "express his concerns over racism and inequality for all people" (Hendricks). Hughes exposes America for its hypocrisy and social injustice. Throughout "Let America Be America Again", there is an ironic and sarcastic tone that Hughes employs to accuse …show more content…

Parallel structure and anaphora are found in the poem. In the first two stanzas, the phrase "let it be" is repeated at the beginning of lines. Hughes repeats this phrase to let America know what he is fighting for and that he will not stop fighting until his mission is accomplished. Later in the poem, the phrase "I am" is repeated over the course of three consecutive stanzas. Hughes says that he is a part of many groups of Americans that are being oppressed and are the victims of inequality. By repeating "I am", he establishes credibility to talk about this issue and puts himself into different groups of people so it does not seem like he is the only one struggling with the fight. Hughes knows how blacks are not the only group of people being oppressed so he includes other groups of people. Parallel structure is also found several times in the poem. One example of parallel structure is found in the ninth stanza. In this stanza, the word "of" is followed by a verb and the sentence ends with an exclamation point. This use of parallel structure highlights the wrongdoing of the whites in America. He lists all of the wrongdoings using the same structure to show that the different ways of oppression are not above one another; they all require the same level of attention and condemnation. In the thirteenth and fourteenth stanzas, Hughes employs parallel structure again. Hughes explains that the

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