Sample Literature Paper on Langston Hughes “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,”

The three poems by Langston Hughes presents the theme of music through the use of common beat. The poem lines illustrates the emotional themes revealed in blue music such as love, sadness and lack of hope. Hughes uses music that existed in the slavery period that entails the call and response strategy, to establish an audio impact and to link the past encounters with the present. Using the music culture of the slaves, Langston relates to the painful and disturbing past of black Americans. The other common theme in the three poems is the American dream. Langston illustrates life complexities and how black Americans struggled daily in efforts to achieve the African dream in the future. They reveal the theme of aspiration where Langston exposes lost and hidden thoughts, ideas that can be regained and those that can be redeemed. The laws in the United States treated the black Americans as second class individuals, and this made them feel inferior, and thus they hid their dreams.

Langton also explores the theme of racism where he uses a soft tone to denounce and depict the sufferings that the African Americans encountered as a result of the patriarchal framework. Hughes points out the forgotten and lost aspirations, revealing that the black Americans were denied the chance to participate in the American dream based on racial disparities. The three poems similarly pass on the theme of wisdom where Hughes points out that it is the responsibility of the parents to pass it on to the next generations. Finally, they illustrate the theme of self-actualization here. Hughes establishes a narrative that ends in the speaker attaining a self-actualization state.