Criticism of Langston Hughes

Essay by dmanballa May 2004

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Langston Hughes, a well profound, gifted poet tolerates extreme turmoil as he attempts to receive recognition. He inevitably withstands the abrasive criticism from not only the racist rival individuals, but also his own race. He takes a well-owed career, as a Negro American, and nevertheless emerges as the most brilliant of Harlem's Renaissance writers, and as the one who creates the most vibrant portrait of the Negro's urban experience.

What is recognition? To several, recognition is simply to be recognized using the word in its own definition. Recognition, generally, is an opinionated word, which depends on a person's background and views. Hughes strives for recognition for his poems and himself as he pursues his career as an African-American poet. In Hughes' eyes, recognition does not necessarily mean acknowledgement or awareness, but rather obtaining acceptance. Hughes himself states he wants everyone to see in his poetry "workers, roustabouts, and singers, and job

New York, or in Washington or...Chicago--people up today and down tomorrow, working this week and fired the next, beaten and baffled (Gale Group 1999)" to be recognized as a person, nothing different! Hughes thrives in a hated world where he endures abhorrent positions such as a busboy, because of who he is and his color. Thus, Hughes expresses in the verses of his poems, the essence of himself and others craving the requirement of recognition.

Hughes' poems are an entrance to a stealthy life. His verses "reflect a keen insight into the life of the Negro masses, including a vivid picture of the poverty and deprivation of their life (Wintz)." For hundreds of years, much information was 'push under the rug', causing the undercover pain to never show its face. Hughes proudly made it known, publicly, of the grief, sorrow, and nuisances tolerated. He exposes the misunderstandings...