Langston Hughes: Poems

Contradictions in the Church College

The story “On the Road” by Langston Hughes is one of hope. We see the main character Sargeant, go from being broken and looking to satisfy only his immediate needs, to the end of the story, being fired up! He has hope not only for himself but for the imaginary Christ he met. “On the Road” is a story of a black man during the great depression who finds himself in a worse situation than he began and still feels that he can persevere. This story shows the struggles of the black community and the hypocrisy they endured from those who claimed to be Christ followers. In the story “On the Road”, Langston Hughes utilizes symbolism, allusion, and dialogue to convey the double standards of the church and the suppression of the black population.

The author uses symbolism to display the oppression of the African American race. Snow falling is a constant detail we see throughout the story. This symbolizes the white people. Sargeant walks oblivious through the snow looking for food and shelter. He never once acknowledged the snow falling on him or the discomfort it caused him. “Sargeant never even noticed the snow. But he must have felt it seeping down his neck, cold, wet, sopping in his shoes. But if you had asked him, he wouldn’t have...

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