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Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again” Explicatory Essay


The world we live today is like a global village. Mankind should work towards improving the living conditions. Development has come with its universal challenges; it’s obvious that development is not distributed evenly across the universe.

We are beginning to realize that our separate actions have consequences for the world is interconnected. People grow up hoping for a better future, only for mankind to turn up against each other. Unless we treat mankind and the planet better as envisioned by our forefathers, by appreciating our complex and diverse nature, we may end up compromising the progress that everyone hopes for.

Any action and activity mankind undertakes is always aimed towards betterment of life. On the contrary mankind has demonstrated to be its own worst enemy. This can clearly be illustrated in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again”.

The poem speaks of the famous American dream that never existed. Throughout the poem the tone is angry and disillusioned, though there is some bit of hope. Langston Hughes speaks for the thousands of immigrants who hoped for the better that was never to be achieved. It is more tightly controlled with tone, rhyme, imagery and unified with repetition.

He emphasizes on the fact that there is the poor man who keeps getting poorer whereas the rich is getting richer. It is also evident that he doesn’t only speak for the poor black man but also for the minority group in the society. By mentioning the poor white, the red man and the immigrant in one stanza signifies that this is a universal problem that affects people from all walks of life.

The fact that he emphasizes that he would like America to be America again, clearly shows that not everything is lost and that America is not what was supposed to be. By the mention of “kings connive” the author illustrates that there are those that are deprived of their rights by the elite who are in power.

The tone of the poem brings some sense of reality; in that the writer sounds as if he is speaking from a personal experience. Through the use of rhetorical questions the writer is able to capture the attention of the reader. This enables the reader to pause and think. Not as an American but as individual.

By answering the questions for the reader shows that he expects mankind to have common and coherent thoughts. The poem speaks to different people of different races from different parts of the world.

The use of imagery such as “slavery’s scars” throughout the poem, does speak to the reader. The poem is an indictment of the idea of equal opportunities for all regardless of race, color, religion or origin. The last stanza depicts a strong message of hope. The fact that he talks about “we’’ rather than “I” in the last stanza shows that we all have a role to play so as to achieve the American dream.

The topic “Let America be America Again” shows that it was once a nice place. Unless we treat mankind and the planet better as envisioned by our forefathers, by appreciating our complex and diverse nature, we may end up compromising the progress that everyone hopes for. From the poem it is clear that everyone hopes for a better life and this can only be achieved through collective effort.

This Explicatory Essay on Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again” was written and submitted by user Santiago Stein to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

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Stein, S. (2019, August 6). Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again” [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-citizenship/

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Stein, Santiago. "Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again”." IvyPanda, 6 Aug. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/global-citizenship/.

1. Santiago Stein. "Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again”." IvyPanda (blog), August 6, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-citizenship/.


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Stein, Santiago. "Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again”." IvyPanda (blog), August 6, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-citizenship/.

References

Stein, Santiago. 2019. "Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again”." IvyPanda (blog), August 6, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-citizenship/.

References

Stein, S. (2019) 'Global Citizenship in Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America be America Again”'. IvyPanda, 6 August.

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