Examples Of Disillusionment In American Literature

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Disillusionment in the literature of the World War I era The years before World War I were marked with practical optimism. The U.S. society had come of age and many developments in weapons and transportations made their future seem brighter.[endnoteRef:1] However after WWI ended in 1918, many Americans began to feel a growing distrust in political leaders and government officials. The war had ended; however, nothing was solved. A negative outlook on life was adopted after the people experienced the harshness of the war. As a result of WWI, there were many governmental and economical changes. Socialistic ideas began to spread and many people changed from a monarchical government to a republican government. The use of new machineries
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He mentioned how many people looked forward to the day when, "Liberty is crowned with no false patriotic wreath" and America is "that strong land of love."[endnoteRef:6] Hughes knew that opportunity was real, life was free, and equality was in the air that we breathe, and he was waiting for the day where all races would be treated equally. He often stressed, "America is a dream," and the product of the seed of freedom which was not only for Americans, but also for the entire world. The American dream of brotherhood, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness must come to all people and all races of the world. America was not as many people expected and many people were not treated equally including Langston Hughes. In the poem, he said, "America was never America to me," because even though he was African American, he was considered a Negro with Negro blood in his veins. Negros, at the time, was often looked down upon and was treated like servants. Hughes hoped that one day America would bring hope to everyone like it once had instead of disillusionment. America should be the dream it once was for the pioneers on the plains who wanted to find a home where he was free. "Let it be the great strong land of love," indicates that he wishes America would return to the optimistic state it was in before WWI.[endnoteRef:7] [6: Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (New York: Knopf, 1995) 189-191.] [7: ?F. Scott Fitzgerald.? History Online (n.p.,