"Song for a Dark Girl" by Langston Hughes, makes strong use of the song "Dixie." How does this affect the impact of the poem?

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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The poem Song for a Dark Girl, is a haunting poem about racism and injustice. Langston Hughes uses several quotes in the poem to show how heartbroken the girl is.

By the title, you know that the girl is a black girl. She is suffering because of the death of her black lover. Her lover has been hung on a tree. Langston Hughes uses "Dixie" as a way of making sure the readers know this travesty took place somewhere in the south. Throughout the poem, there are slight comparisons to the young man and Jesus. The young girl asks the question of what good it is to pray to a white Jesus.

The use of Dixie, shows that the young girl's heart was broken in the south. It tells the story of how bad things were for these people in the south. Dixie invokes memories of the Civil War, which as we know was a horrible time for slaves. Langston Hughes brings such emotion to just a few lines. The poem is short, but hits you hard. The young girl sings Dixie to let the reader know that her heart was broken in the south. She sings Dixie to let the reader know her lover was killed in the south.

The last line of the poem, is probable one of the most haunting, It says: "Love is a naked shadow on a gnarled and naked tree". The young girl's life has forever changed in the south, so she sings Dixie for us not to forget what has happened.

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