Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

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What is the literal meaning of Langston Hughes' poem, "Let America be America Again"?

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Langston Hughes is crying out that America should become the country it had promised to be. His poem is an appeal to all members of American society, without distinction, to make America great again. It is an almost desperate plea rooted in the strife and struggle that he has suffered and witnessed throughout his beloved country since birth.

Hughes is speaking about an America that was the idealised country the pioneers dreamt about. A land where everyone is free, not only in a political or societal context, but also free from exploitation, greed and all the other human foibles which have become so commonplace. The freedom which he speaks about is untainted by idealism or linked to any ideology. It should be a natural freedom, as free as the air we breathe, a freedom that creates limitless opportunities, equally for all.

Hughes uses the jarring images of people who have become the victims of an uncaring and...

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