Similarities Between Mandelstam And Langston Hughes

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Both Mandelstam and Hughes use a central figure to stand in for a greater entity: the Soviet Union. Langston Hughes glorifies the Soviet Army, while Osip Mandelstam lambasts Stalin. To Langston Hughes, America’s disenfranchisement of him and millions of other black Americans, as well as the fascist threat, meant that the Soviet Union represented a new ideal of valor and justice. To Mandelstam, the Soviet Union was bleak, sadistic repression; a land that lacked all the basic freedoms America takes for granted. The two images present a completely opposite portrayal of the Soviet Union, a portrayal that not only reveals poets themselves, but gives readers a new understanding of poetry’s powerful role in remembering and changing modern ideas of
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