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Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes Essay

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The two poems look at the burdens associated with an issue of being an illegal immigrant in the country. Gary laments on how his boss treated him as an illegal Mexican in America in Mexicans begin jogging, yet he was an American citizen of the Mexican origin.

In the poem he recalls how the border patrol officers arrived at the factory where he worked. “Over the fence, Soto”, the boss shouted at Soto, warning him in this way to run away from the border patrol police because he thought he was an illegal immigrant.

The issue of immigrants is also covered in the poem Dinner guest: Me by Langston Hughes. In the poem, Langston dwells on black immigrants, living in the country. Even though they are citizens of America, they are, nonetheless, treated with suspicion and even considered to be of a lower status.

In the second line of the poem, he says that “The Negro Problem”, thus attempting to bring out some of the challenges that the Negros had to face in their endeavors to fit into the American society. The American whites try to make up for their mistreatment of the Negros by inviting the narrator for a dinner “Being wined and dined / Answering the usual questions”.

The American dream is addressed in the two poems as well. In the first poem, Gary’s dream consists in the fact that there will be the day when there is no discrimination towards immigrants and, as such, he will be able to freely mingle in the society. The fact that he is an American of Mexican origin does not give him any right for his boss and the border authorities to harass him.

He still believes the American dream is realizable and that is why he jogs but still “yells vivas to the baseball, milkshakes and those sociologists”. To him these are the symbols of the dream. In the Dinner Guest: Me, Langston looks at the problem of black people; at the end of the poem he believes in the American dream as well; he hopes one day there will be solutions offered to the problem “Solution to the problem, of course, wait.”

The theme of hopefulness is well covered in both poems. Gary hopes for a day to come when there will be no discrimination of immigrants, what is why he ends the poem saying “As I jog the next century / on the power of a great, silly grin”. At the same time Langston expresses hope showing that he is ready to wait “Of course, wait”. The concept of hope is clearly related to the American dream of freedom and equal democratic rights.

The relation between the themes of new arrival and race are related. Gary bemoans the Mexican immigrants, while Langston is concerned with the treatment of black people in America. The black people are African Americas and thus they are not originally from America as well.

From the point of new arrival, the poems highlight the issue of race. Gary’s main concern is that although he is an America, his boss tells him to run since the border police is coming after him. The boss assumes that Gary is an illegal immigrant even though he is an American.

The same is considered by Langston; the white Americans are certain about the fact that if someone is African American, then that person is considered to be a problem or burden for the society, however, in reality it is not the case.

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IvyPanda. (2020, March 12). Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/dinner-guest-me-by-langston-hughes/

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"Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes." IvyPanda, 12 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/dinner-guest-me-by-langston-hughes/.

1. IvyPanda. "Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes." March 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dinner-guest-me-by-langston-hughes/.


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IvyPanda. "Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes." March 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dinner-guest-me-by-langston-hughes/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes." March 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dinner-guest-me-by-langston-hughes/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes'. 12 March.

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