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Historical Critical Perspective on the Life and Works of Langston Hughes Essay

The paper will focus on criticizing the works of Langston Hughes in the basis of his life and influence of his surroundings. The historical perspectives will be the basis of criticizing his works. How the political and social aspects did influenced him to create his poetries. The life and works of Hughes in response to his adamant life will be discussed critically in this paper.

Langston Hughes Life

Born at Mississippi in 1902, Langston was the son of both African American citizens. In his growth, his environment was stained with racial discrimination issues which were instigated by his grandmother and the environment he lived. This rooted in writing about social issues which is mostly the topics of his writings. His greatest achievement was that he was the first Black American who was considered with racial consciousness to make a living by writing (Leach 14). He received many awards regarding his writings as he is a well-known figure in the society, a leading literalist in the Harlem Renaissance and critique of racism. His works includes the book of poetry which is The Weary Blues published in 1926. He was famous in playwright and musical dramas which were used in his time. Three of his famous works will be summarized and the influence of his works will be discussed.

· The Black Nativity (1921) – this is a collection of gospel songs which must be presented by black people. This means the character within the gospel about the birth of Christ is portrayed by African Americans.  It was played in Chicago and became a big hit in its time. The play was made from the influence of racism in the state. Langston created a new image of nativity when he arranged it to be played by Black people. This had become controversial but still became popular because of its uniqueness in approach.

· Not with Laughter (1920) – is a novel which depicts the black life in a town of Kansas. The work shows the character’s life on his dealings with tragedies and peaceful life in the town.

· The Weary Blues (1926) – this is collection of poetry blues by Hughes. The blues poem shows the nature toward affirmation and self negotiation, both consolatory mourning and melancholia (Ramazani 144).

His works shows the life of black people in his time mixed with fictitious plots and heartwarming ideas in his works. The people view his works as inspirational and influences the way people view on the black people. The Harlem Renaissance is described as a period wherein racial criticism is intense wherein the blacks challenge the white racism by producing African Americans good in various field. This inspired Hughes to continue his endeavor towards writing his own poetry.

Criticisms on his works

At present, his works can be seen as not to promote racism but to see how Blacks and Whites have the same talents and ideals. The thorough examination of his works shows how he gave the tragedies on the life of blacks but then provide the positive side of it. His renowned play which is the Black Nativity showed a different approach in the way people think about gospel plays. The new approach was criticized but then, the issue of equality in religion beyond racial boundaries prevailed.

His works became useful in the development of African American literature and continues evolvement of the discipline. His experience and his thoughts influenced the society through his writings. He’s well known works influenced the culture and life of the people in his time and the present.


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