Langston Hughes: Poems

American Illusions: The Realities of the American Dream According to Langston Hughes College

Born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri, Langston Hughes embodied the subtle status of African-American culture during his career as a novelist, poet, and scholar. Hughes was a unique poet, in that he sought to communicate the voices of black America and reflect the culture, lifestyle, and obstacles involved in black American life. Through his writing, experiences, and uncanny ability for empathy, Hughes developed a strong understanding of the American dream, and the state of the American dream in society. More specifically, Hughes was able to effectively give voice to the disenfranchised American dream belonging to black America, a dream that was far removed from the traditional American dream. Through strong portrayals of prejudice, poverty, and obscurity, Hughes tells of a downtrodden dream, a dream for those who could not even obtain rights such as liberty and equality. For these people, dreams often die, or are forgotten. However, Hughes does not declare that all hope is lost. Though the subjects of his American dreams are often bereft of possession, respect, and dignity, Hughes states that their dreams, while not realized immediately or easily, can in fact be realized with time, belief, and dedication. Through works such as “As...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1407 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10270 literature essays, 2608 sample college application essays, 509 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in