What is the meaning of Langston Hughes' poem "Long Trip?"

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On the surface of it, this poem describes the sea and its endlessness. Hughes describes the sea as a "wilderness" and a "desert," both words which are usually applied to dry land, and both of which suggest a certain barren emptiness. A wilderness and a desert are both places devoid of people and things: to be in such a place is to be alone. Hughes repeats the two opening lines of the poem at the end of it, the parallelism serving to enclose the message of the poem and reinforce this sense that the sea is overwhelmingly vast.

The title of the poem—"Long Trip"—and the references to "we" in the poem suggest that, rather than simply being literally about the sea, Hughes may actually be using the sea as a metaphor for life. It is unlikely that a person...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 418 words.)

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