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Langston Hughes

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Brittany Jamison

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes
By: Triston, Brittany, Christine, lucas
Life is Fine
Literary Devices
Growing Success
General information
Early Life
Literary Devices

After his parents separated, he was raised by his grandmother
He lived with her until she died in his teenage years.
After settling down in Cincinnati with his mother, he began to write
His major influences were Carl
Sandburg and Walt Whitman
Graduated from high school in 1920, and had his poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" published
Worked various jobs until he met Vachel Lindsay in 1925, who used his connections to promote Langston's poetry
His poem “The Weary Blues” won first prize in the Opportunity magazine literary competition
Received a scholarship to attend Lincoln University
His first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, was published by Knopf in 1926
Born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri
Wrote jazzy poetry that expressed the struggles of blacks and confronted racial stereotypes
After his play, Mulatto, opened on Broadway in 1935, he wrote other plays, including comedies such as Little Ham and Emperor of Haiti.
Had a weekly column in the Chicago Defender that began in 1942 and lasted twenty years.
Montage of a Dream Deferred had a verse accented by the new bebop jazz that reflected a growing desperation in black urban communities.
Speaker narrates from despair to enlightenment
Tries to commit suicide, but failed eventually. Tried to drown himself, then jump off a building
"I thought about my baby- And thought I would jump down" suggest he lost a loved one
Realizes that "Life is fine" because he realizes how lucky he is
Hyperboles: "hollered", "It was cold" and "It was high" are as they are exaggerated statements. Used to show how loud he screamed, how cold the water was and how tall the building was.
Metaphor: "Life is fine! Fine as wine!" He was comparing life to wine.
Repetition: "hollered" and "cried"
Mother to Son
Place in Modernist Movement
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
who is tjhe speaker speaking to ?
Overall Relevancy to Modernism
Life is Fine
Overall Relevancy to Modernism
Mother To Son
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
Honors and Awards
Figurative Language
Rhyme Scheme
Overall Relevancy to Modernism
I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't,
So I jumped in and sank.
I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn't a-been so cold
I might've sunk and died.
But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!
I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.
I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn't a-been so high
I might've jumped and died.
But it was High up there! It was high!
So since I'm still here livin',
I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love--
But for livin' I was born
Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry--
I'll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.
Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
The speaker is a older woman who is giving advice to a younger generation.
The tone of this poem is encouraging
This is an example of a Extended metaphor
compares the mothers life to a stair case.
"life for me aint been no crystal stair"
This quote begins and ends the poem.
she encourages her son not to give up
"So boy don't you turn back"
Crystal stairs
This represents the upper class. she said her life had not been no crystal stair. which is saying she did not have money to buy the things she wanted or needed she had to work for it.
splinters and crack
Langston Hughes used these words to describe the speakers life, they represented all of the pain and hurt she has been threw.
This poem is related to modernism because the speaker does not come out and tell you exactly what she is refering to when she talks about the stair case or the splitters. There are gaps in the poem that you have to fill in and catch on to.
The theme is sometimes life isn't what you thought it would be or what you wanted it to be , but you have to keep going.
"Langston Hughes." Enotes.com. Enotes.com, n.d. Web. 01 May
"Langston Hughes." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 05 Jan.
2013. Web. 01 May 2013.
Suttor, Marijane. "Poetry Analysis: Mother to Son, by Langston
Hughes." Helium. Helium, 30 Sept. 2011. Web. 01 May 2013.
Grew up mainly in Lawrence and Kansas, but also lived in Illinois, Ohio, and Mexico
His grandmother told him stories of the African-American oral tradition that influenced his work.
Started writing poetry in the eighth grade, and was selected as Class Poet.
His father didn't think he would be able to make a living at writing, and encouraged him to pursue a different career.
Modernism against formal practices and social concerns.
New outlook of all those African-American writers who have something to say.
Wanted racial segregation to change
Modernist techniques:
The theme of alienation in a world of cultural change.
Meaning is not found in the external world, but is created in the individual.
About an individual who attempts suicide but ends up deciding that "life is fine".
Refers to when there is something that may seem impossible to overcome, death is often considered the only outlet. People find death as a mean to run away from pain.
Trying to kill himself and becomes more conscious of what he has been given, how people should appreciate it instead of easily giving it away.
Forceful and bitter, and yet critical
Becomes more positive when the speaker realizes that "life is fine"
Pessimism to optimism
Becomes more aware of how lucky he is
In Time Of Silver Rain
Bound No’th Blues
Lonesome Place
Dream Deferred
Theme For English B
Dream Variations
Sea Calm
Madam's Past History
Madam And The Phone Bill
I Dream A World
Witter Bynner Undergraduate Poetry Prize
Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievements by an African American
Awarded with the first Langston Hughes Medal by the City College of New York.
New York City Landmark statue at the Harlem home of Langston Hughes
Died on May 22, 1967, 65 years old
From complications after abdominal surgery, related to prostate cancer,
ashes are beneath a floor medallion atArthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
The is the entrance to an auditorium named for him.
The design on the floor is titled Rivers from his poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers".
Full transcript