Langston Hughes’ poem “Let America be America Again”, encapsulates the cruel illusion of the American dream. The American dream entails that every citizen have equal access to prosperity. However, it is within this poem that the true ideology of the Western canon is exemplified. As a result, Hughes petitions that true American dream be restablished. This poem is his attempt to resurge the true American dream. This poem uses the vice of repetition. The parenthetical line breaks in between the stanza serve as the author’s inner voice which ultimately accumulates power. Hughes reiterates that “(America was never America to me)” (5) to exude assertion. He emphasizes the systematic oppression endured by conveying the evolution of America within poem.
“Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,” (68-70)
This stanza calls us to question the who’s labor helped shape America. Plenty of blood, sweat and tears shed were those of the minority. Factory workers, farmers and those in other labor industries are portrayed as the disenfranchised. For many, the newly freed America does not reflect the heaven they so desired. Some have concluded that their efforts were have realized that their efforts were futile, as they too are reduced to severe circumstances in America. He concludes that the true American dream sought after is fictitious. Later, Hughes exclaims that the hungry do not get to drink from the cup of plenty; despite their work ethic, they still remain outside the margins of prosperity.
Hughes longs for the day when the marginally oppressed reap the benefits of founding America. Hughes call for action to take place. Despite the circumstances, he never ceases to give up hope. His faith remains unconquerable and unbowed. His ideal American dream is to have live in a be a society without regards to race or creed. The poem contrasts his hopes for America with the reality of its present state. Those that fall outside of the prominent racial, religious, and social groups must seek methods to reclaim America. Hughes declares that those oppressed must unite and reclaim their land. America is now currently plagued by discrimination and greed. Hughes believes that it can be improved. This poem invokes a sense of willpower. After realizing all of the oppression endured, I have no choice but to strive for success and defy the odds. The poem’s intent was to resurge the American dream, and it did just that!