The Weary Blues Final Draft Essay

Submitted By kbolton9
Words: 931
Pages: 4

Kaitlyn Bolton
Ms. Sarchet
English 102-023
20 November 2014
“The Weary Blues”: Racial Suffering In 1925 Langston Hughes published his poem, “The Weary Blues,” which confronts the issues of racism in the 1920’s. The poem its self is a free verse poem, meaning the lines of the poem create a rhythmic feel rather then using everyday speech. By using this writing style it helps Hughes confront his issue of racism in a more sad way. Langston Hughes demonstrates loneliness, depression, and frustration of racial suffering through his use of figurative language, diction, and sound devices. Hughes demonstrates loneliness, depression, and frustration through his use of figurative language. One way Hughes does this is through the words he chooses to use in, “The Weary Blues”. For example, Hughes writes, “Droning a drowsy syncopated tune” (line 1) this demonstrates racial suffering in this time because the poem automatically starts off in a depressed tone. Hughes also writes, “He made that poor piano moan with melody” (10) and then he goes on to say in the next line, “O Blues” (11), this shows the despair of racial suffering because usually a piano makes a calming and beautiful sound but the main character of the poem makes the piano have a dejected sound. In the short poem Hughes also demonstrates racial suffering through figurative language through his use of an allusion. Langston Hughes says, “Down on Lenox Avenue the other night” (4) then goes on to say, “By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light” (5), this creates the allusion of being on a back ally during the night and the words, “pale dull pallor” signify that the character is tired and worn. This helps demonstrate that during this time in history the African American society was often worn out from the long workdays they had. Another use of figurative language that is used in Langston Hughes poem is allegory. His whole poem and the title its self, “The Weary Blues,” signifies racial suffering because at the time the poem was written the blues met life and the hardships that everyone had to go through, especially the hardships that African Americans endured. Through the use of figurative language Hughes helps demonstrates the loneliness and racial suffering that African Americans faced during this period of time. In “The Weary Blues,” Hughes demonstrates racial suffering through his use of diction. Throughout the poem, Hughes uses different words that suggest racial suffering during the time he wrote this poem. For example, Langston writes, “He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool” (13). This demonstrates that this musician’s music was depressing and that it seemed foolish for him to be playing such a song. This just goes to show that many African Americans during this time period were sad because of the life they had to live. Hughes goes on to write, “In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone”, melancholy meaning a sadden, miserable tone, the musician begins to sing, “Ain’t got nobody in this world/ Ain’t got nobody but ma self/ I’s gwine to quite ma frownin’/ And put ma troubles on the shelf” (25-29). Hughes choice of words here show that this poem is taking place in the south. It also shows that the author is suggesting that the character of the poem does not have a good education because of their lack of grammar. During the time this poem was written, African Americans generally did not go to school for very long. The passage its self shows the feeling of despair and that the character has