• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Past Present Future

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Past, Present, Future "If you don't now your past, then you won't have a future." This holds true to plenty of African Americans from all walks of life. Oppression-- a fixation that lives in the African American history - still roars its ugly head even in this present day. They have been thought of as inferior to the white superiority. Though struggling through these times, they continue to find a way to come together with one another. A common tradition of African Americans happens when aged generations sit down with the youth to recount old memories through stories. Langston Hughes incorporates this common practice through his speaker's relations of past events in his poem "The Negro Mother". Acting as the speaker, the Negro mother unifies African Americans of the past, present, and future for a common purpose: to achieve her American dream. Langston Hughes takes on the persona of a Negro mother to represent the people of the past generation. The Negro mother affirms, "Children, I come back today/ To tell you a story of the long dark way" (lines 1-2). ...read more.

Middle

She continues, "I couldn't read then/.../ I had only hope then" to symbolize her recollection of memories to her kids through highlighting such words like "then" (lines 22, 32). She describes how "the valley was filled with tears/.../ the road was hot with sun/ .../ I had to keep on till my work was done" (lines 24-27). The hardship that she went through comes across in these couple of lines. We as the reader can envision all that she says. She does this to paint a clear picture to her "children" and doing this in return, helps illustrate her point to the readers, as well. She continues to describe how she "nourished the dream that nothing could smother" to explain the perseverance that she kept aflame just to keep the dream alive (line 30). Through pronouncing this, the concept of the American dream rises to the light. A shift in tone shows the persistence in the Negro mother when addressing the future. She introduces a new tone, "... ...read more.

Conclusion

He starts off by introducing the speaker in a first person point of view to represent people of the past generations. In doing this, the speaker attains the ability to internalize the past. The words she chooses to use transitions the poem from the past into the present state. Incorporating this enables her to speak on behalf of the older generation about the hardships of slavery; and through the tragedies of the hard times, the spark of the dream she possesses gradually increases. The way she tells the children about her dream, forces the tone of the poem to change from reflective to declarative. The strength of the words allows for her to call the children into action using definite active verbs. In doing all of this, her persistence comes across very strongly which in turn forces her words to register in the minds of the reader. In this present state, we cannot have a future without knowing our past. So in order for the reader to adequately fulfill the dreams of the speaker, the negro mother had to transport the reader into the past to help them visualize the struggle so that her dream would not be taken lightly. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Extended Essay - A Dream Deferred Both Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby and ...

    Lennie tells her that he loves feeling soft textures but he admits that it gets him into trouble. She reassures him by asking, "Well, who don't? ... Ever'body likes that. I like to feel silk an' velvet." (Steinbeck 90). She allows him to stroke her hair but tells him "Don't you muss it up" (Steinbeck 90).

  2. In hawk roostitng, an otter, and pike, how does hughes present nature as timeless ...

    The way Ted describes his hooked head and feet makes the Hawk seem beastly and dangerous at the same time as wrong, twisted and witch-like, again relating, just as the Pike to a process of long evolution that reached to be this perfect natural killer.

  1. How does Hughes use different voices to present his ideas about African American experience ...

    We see throughout 'montage of a dream deferred' speaker's present stories about a number of different experiences, ranging from prostitution, romance, wisdom, and childhood memories, all these different stories let the reader see things from a different point of view.

  2. Langston Hughes

    Hughes wants Negroes to ask themselves questions such as, "Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro-and beautiful?" (The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain). One should not be ashamed of his race and not be ashamed of what he accomplishes.

  1. Free essay

    Explore the Presentation of the Past in "Last Orders" and "American Pastoral", and Comment ...

    In the case of Merry and Vince, one must question whether their past has a much greater impact on their actions than is first apparent. Merry is brought up under immense pressure from her mother, her stutter is continually criticised and the Swede is forever pushing her toward solutions.

  2. Symbolism in The Sorrow of War "

    immerse himself in a world of mythical and wonderful dreams which in ordinary moments his soul could never penetrate. In these luxurious dreams the imagined air was so clean, the sky so high, the clouds and sunshine so beautiful, approaching the perfection of his childhood dreams.? (Ninh 12-13)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work