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Why, You Reckon By Langston Hughes

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The purpose of “Why, You Reckon?” by Langston Hughes is to accurately display, through the times of that century and human emotion, that despite money, power, and the color of your skin there can still be an unhappiness of the soul. There is evidence in the beginning of the short story of two men’s unhappiness in life the symbol of them being uncontent was their hunger. “Man, ain’t you hongry.... Well, sir, I’m tellin’ you, I was so tired and hongry and cold that night.” (253- 254). I believe this “hunger” is a representation of not only their physical hunger but also the want for more in their own lives. This hunger lead them to do wrong, despite wanting to do good, “Well, sir, I ain’t never been mixed up in nothin’ wrong, before nor since, and I don’t intend to be again, but I was hungry that night” (253). This leads me to my 2nd point; when you are hungry for more in your life you tend to not fight for what you want or believe in. “But Edward didn’t holler. He just sat down on the coal. I reckon he was scared weak-like…. All this time I was just standin’ there, wasn’t doin’ nothin’” (255-256). The narrator is talking about how Edward, who was being robbed, didn’t fight or holler or even try to fight back. The Narrator is also explaining that even though he knew what he…show more content…
That knowing having power, money, and the color of your skin your own choice could not make you happy. ““Say, buddy,” I says, “If I had your money, I’d be always having a good time.”
“No, you wouldn’t,” said the white boy” (258). The short story ends with that exact realization for the narrator, “ What do you suppose is the matter with rich white folks? Why you reckon they ain’t happy?” (258). In conclusion, “Why, You Reckon?” is a meaningful short story explaining that there is more to life and happiness than worldly
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