Rhetorical Devices In The Negro Speaks Of Rivers By Langston Hughes

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Throughout much of his poetry, Langston Hughes wrestles with complex notations of African American dreams, racism, and discrimination during the Harlem Renaissance. Through various poems, Hughes uses rhetorical devices to state his point of view. He tends to use metaphors, similes, imagery, and connotation abundantly to illustrate in what he strongly believes. Discrimination and racism were very popular during the time when Langston Hughes began to develop and publish his poems, so therefore his poems are mostly based on racism and discrimination, and the desire of an African American to live the American dream. Langston Hughes poems served as a voice for all African Americans greatly throughout his living life, and even after his death.

In the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Langton Hughes uses rhetorical devices such as allusion and imagery to develop the theme of the poem. Starting in stanzas four to six, Langston uses four very famous rivers to trace back on where it all began. Throughout these stanzas he develops allusion because he traces back on to history and state that everyone are historically equal.

“My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.” (4-10)

He also

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