Analytical Timed Writing of: “Let American Be America Again” by Langston Hughes

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Analytical Timed Writing of:

Excerpt from A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Excerpt from There There by Tommy Orange

and/or

 “Let American Be America Again” by Langston Hughes

 

                                      

Consider the pieces listed above.  Then, in a well-organized essay, explain the attitude of one or more speakers toward the American experience.

Introduction:

Be sure to articulate a clear central claim: what is the speaker or speakers’ attitude toward the American experience?  This will appear in the claim statement of the introductory paragraph. (LRS format is included below).

 

Body Paragraphs:

Then, explain how the author uses literary strategies to express the speaker or speakers’ attitude.   Especially consider use of allusion, alliteration, archetypes, diction, direct quotation, hyperbole, imagery, irony, motif, parallelism, repetition, symbol, and the use of multiple voices.

The essay must be written in multiple paragraphs. The introduction should follow the LRS format.  Each body paragraph must have a clear claim, articulated in a strong topic sentence.  And each body paragraph should have at least two pieces of direct evidence from the text or texts.

Conclusion:

In the conclusion paragraph, respond to the speaker or speakers’ attitude.  Is this attitude valid? How might a reader disagree with this attitude?  What is the writer’s (your) final statement on this attitude?

 

 

You will have one hour to compose your essay.

Prepare an outline, in advance.

Essays will probably be four or five paragraphs.

100 formative points

 

Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS) Essay Format
NAME: ________________________________________________________ DATE: _____ PER: ____

 

INTRODUCTION

Context

  • The context is factual information that the reader needs to know in order to understand your argument. This information includes the title, author, and genre (TAG) of the book.

 

Your Context: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Status Quo

  • The status quo refers to the argument or opinion that you are arguing against. Essentially, the status quo describes common assumptions about the topic that you think are incomplete or inaccurate. (And which you will expand or correct in your essay).

 

Your Status Quo:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Destabilizing Condition

  • The destabilizing moment or condition challenges the status quo theory. The destabilizing moment points out a flaw in the assumption (without simply stating the claim). The destabilizing moment leaves readers uncertain, confused, or at least curious enough to want to continue.

 

Your Destabilizing Condition:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Consequences:

  • The consequences are either the costs of leaving the situation unresolved or the benefits of resolving it. Consequences answer the question, “So what?” in a way that piques the reader’s interest and makes him or her want to read on to solve the problem. The consequences can be stated as the potential loss from ignoring the problem or as the potential gain from addressing it (or both).

 

Your Consequences:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Claim

  • The claim includes either a resolution to the problem or a promise of a resolution to come.

 

Your Claim:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

FIRST BODY PARAGRAPH

 

Topic Sentence: This is the claim of the paragraph.  Begin with a transition statement (First, To begin with, etc.), and clearly articulate the main idea of the paragraph. Be sure that this idea firmly supports the claim.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

First piece of evidence: Provide context for the first quotation (tell the reader when in the action of the text the quote occurs, and include any other information that will help the reader to understand your argument).  Then record the quotation.  Consider embedding the quote into your own sentence.  Also, include page number in parentheses, using MLA format: “…” (34).

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain how the quote supports the claim. Use concise, direct language.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Second piece of evidence: Provide context for the first quotation (tell the reader when in the action of the text the quote occurs, and include any other information that will help the reader to understand your argument).  Then record the quotation.  Consider embedding the quote into your own sentence.  Also, include page number in parentheses, using MLA format: “…” (34).

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain how the quote supports the claim. Use concise, direct language.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Concluding Statement.  Draw this argument back to your overall claim, leaving your reader with a final thought.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

SECOND BODY PARAGRAPH

 

Topic Sentence: This is the claim of the paragraph.  Begin with a transition statement (Second, Next, Furthermore etc.), and clearly articulate the main idea of the paragraph.  Be sure that this idea firmly supports the claim.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

First piece of evidence: Provide context for the first quotation (tell the reader when in the action of the text the quote occurs, and include any other information that will help the reader to understand your argument).  Then record the quotation.  Consider embedding the quote into your own sentence.  Also, include page number in parentheses, using MLA format: “…” (34).

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain how the quote supports the claim. Use concise, direct language.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Second piece of evidence: Provide context for the first quotation (tell the reader when in the action of the text the quote occurs, and include any other information that will help the reader to understand your argument).  Then record the quotation.  Consider embedding the quote into your own sentence.  Also, include page number in parentheses, using MLA format: “…” (34).

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain how the quote supports the claim. Use concise, direct language.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Concluding Statement.  Draw this argument back to your overall claim, leaving your reader with a final thought.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

THIRD BODY PARAGRAPH

 

Topic Sentence: This is the claim of the paragraph.  Begin with a transition statement (Third, finally, etc.), and clearly articulate the main idea of the paragraph.  Be sure that this idea firmly supports the claim.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

First piece of evidence: Provide context for the first quotation (tell the reader when in the action of the text the quote occurs, and include any other information that will help the reader to understand your argument).  Then record the quotation.  Consider embedding the quote into your own sentence.  Also, include page number in parentheses, using MLA format: “…” (34).

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain how the quote supports the claim. Use concise, direct language.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Second piece of evidence: Provide context for the first quotation (tell the reader when in the action of the text the quote occurs, and include any other information that will help the reader to understand your argument).  Then record the quotation.  Consider embedding the quote into your own sentence.  Also, include page number in parentheses, using MLA format: “…” (34).

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain how the quote supports the claim. Use concise, direct language.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Concluding Statement.  Draw this argument back to your overall claim, leaving your reader with a final thought.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

CONCLUSION

Acknowledgment of an Opposing Viewpoint:

  • In this sentence, acknowledge that another reader might have a different interpretation of the topic.  Summarize this possible contradictory argument, here. 

 

Your Acknowledgement of an Opposing Viewpoint:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Answer the Opposing Viewpoint:

  • Here, give an answer to this contradictory argument, in support of your own claim.

 

Your Answer to the Opposing Viewpoint:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Wider Application:

  • Here, discuss with your reader how your argument might apply to the world beyond the text.

 

Your Wider Application: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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Description

America is the land of the free and home of the brave. Or is it? Equal freedom and opportunity for all may not apply to everyone. In his poem “Let America Be America Again,” Langston Hughes’ attitude toward the American experience shifts from frustration to hopefulness.

In the beginning of the poem, Langston Hughes expresses the frustration of the powerless Americans trapped in a social hierarchy. Freedom is not for everyone “in this ‘homeland of the free’” (Hughes 16). Hughes uses an allusion to the national anthem here to expose th

e irony of America not being what it stands for. Quoting the national anthem shows his bitter attitude towards the American experience here. Trying to rise up but “tangled in that endless chain” (Hughes 26). The chain is a metaphor for the minority of America being bound to the bottom of the hierarchy. Opportunity is crushed by those who are already powerful and are greedy for more. The millions “shot down when [they] strike” and “ who have nothing for [their] pay.” (Hughes 54-55). Allusions to labor unions and slavery here are very powerful. It shows just how far away from equal America really is. While exposing these dismal truths of the American experience, Hughes emphasises his frustrated attitude; this sets up an even more powerful sense of hopefulness towards the end of the poem.

After explaining the frustration and hardships of the people, Langston Hughes leaves hope for a truly free America. America- “must be- the land where everyman is free” (Hughes 64). Hughes now shifts his attitude to an expectation that American will truly come to be what it stands for. He leaves responsibility in the minority to keep fighting and “bring back [their] mighty dream again” (Hughes 69). This shows his hopefulness for America to evolve into what it should have been. In the last stanza there is repetition and rhythm working along with imagery to give an upbeat scope of America. Langston Hughes is hopeful in his attitude to lead the readers to believe in a better America.

Hughes has the most compelling attitude in this poem. It moves the reader perfectly through the use of metaphor, allusion, and patriotism. The poem appeals to almost every American because everyone wants what is best for their country. Only one might disagree with his attitude if they believed in racial inequality. I believe Hughes expressed his frustration and hopefulness beautifully to make the reader want to change America.

On my honor I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this assignment

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