Discuss the perspective and message of the speakers in the following poems: "Let America Be America Again," "Open Letter to the South," "Theme for English B," and "Harlem." Also, explain the...

Discuss the perspective and message of the speakers in the following poems: "Let America Be America Again," "Open Letter to the South," "Theme for English B," and "Harlem." Also, explain the related themes throughout each poem.

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Langston Hughes examines several common themes throughout the four assigned poems. One of the predominant themes addressed in each of the poems is the oppression of the speaker. In each poem, the speaker appeals to the disenfranchised members of society and associates with their struggles. The speaker examines the perspective of exploited lower-class members of society such as immigrants, laborers, and African Americans. Hughes also addresses the differences between the marginalized members of society and the privileged members throughout the poems. The speaker juxtaposes the advantages of privileged Americans with the plight of the oppressed citizens.

Another common theme that Hughes examines throughout the selected poems is a call for social change. In each poem, Hughes encourages the marginalized members of society to fight for social change. Whether the speaker is encouraging his teacher to view race relations with a new perspective or calling disenfranchised members to challenge the current social structure, Hughes inspires the reader to enact social change.

The themes of unity and equality are also examined throughout the four assigned poems. The speaker illuminates and discusses the similar circumstances between African Americans, disenfranchised members of society, and white citizens. Hughes argues for equality and encourages all members of society to work together to achieve the American dream. The speaker appeals to common goals between citizens with different ethnic backgrounds and races in hopes of attaining equality, justice, and harmony. The speaker's desire to integrate into American society is also evident throughout each of the poems.

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