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Langston Hughes and Alice Walker Essay

Langston Hughes’ Still Here and Dream Deferred are two poems depicting emotions driven by frustrations in life. These literary works may appear simple, but they both depict the social and political conditions during the time these poems were written. Langston Hughes, a renowned writer during the Harlem Renaissance, is famous for his works on social class and race relations in America. His poem Dream Deferred, as the title suggests, describes various detrimental effects frustration can bring to a person.

Literary tools used were imagery, similes, and metaphors in question form to suggest these detrimental effects. In the poem, effects are described as the raisin in the sun, like a sore that festers, like a stinking rotten meat, and like a heavy load. The two poems by Langston both expressed the social and political conditions in his time and its implications to the lives of the African-Americans, then. During Langston’s time, African-American exercised limited rights that may have hindered them from attaining their dreams in life.

Langston sees that this problem has caused great pain to the unfulfilled person and to the people surrounding him. The short story Everyday Use by Alice Walker, on the other hand, discusses how culture and heritage should be valued and recognized, specifically that of the African-Americans. Alice Walker, an American writer, like Langston, also writes about race and gender relations. Her short story illustrated the conflict in appreciating the African-American culture by presenting the redefined and the practical ways of doing this.

The writer made use of the quilt as the representation of the culture and heritage of the African-American. The quilt, seen as the product of quilting, is said to be the refined way of seeing its worth while knowing the process of quilting represents the practical way and more meaningful way of appreciating the culture and heritage. The story suggests that heritage and culture should not be equated to tangible things and should be understood thoroughly to see its worth.

Langston and Walker, through their works, showed how African-Americans feel and what their personal struggles are in two different scenarios. Indeed, their works never failed to provide inspiration to those who can relate. References: Hughes, L. (1951). Dream Deferred. Retrieved May 5, 2009, 2009, from http://www. poemhunter. com/i/ebooks/pdf/langston_hughes_2004_9. pdf Hughes, L. Still Here. Retrieved May 5, 2009, from http://www. poemhunter. com/i/ebooks/pdf/langston_hughes_2004_9. pdf Walker, A. (1973). Everyday Use. Retrieved May 5, 2009, from http://xroads. virginia. edu/~ug97/quilt/walker. html


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