In Langston Hughes' poem “Dream Variations,” his writing style is based on the format of American Blues music. The purposefully simple words and short lines indicate their aim at those who have little to base a literary reference on. The words are childlike, but there is strength in the imagery they create. African Americans of Hughes' era might have had a difficult time relating to literary works given the inequalities in the education system; therefore Hughes wrote in a form they could relate to: music. The first and second stanzas mirror but do not duplicate each other.
The narrator uses words such as “whirl” and “dance” to provide movement and motion, which implies freedom. In addition, he uses double meanings with the words “white” and “black,” “light” and “dark”; they relate to the time of day and racial differences.
In the first stanza he says, “Till the white day is done.” The narrator is speaking both of the light of day and of the workday that was controlled mainly by the white population. The speaker also dreams of being able to dance the day away before the darkness of night descends. The night is identifiable because “it is black like me.”
Therefore, although the words are simple, the format and meaning was accessible to its intended audience.