A Literary Comparison
Ms. Katie Barnett
July 7, 2008
Literature is not just for the well educated or upper class citizens. It’s not something that has to be boring or only for adults. It can reach every part of the human emotion and still be enjoyable. Life lessons are often learned or spoken through our writings. Sometimes the greatest stories are those told from ones own experience rather than something that has never been felt. Reading can enlighten the mind and cause us to often reflect upon where we have been or where we intend to go in the next chapter of our life. Many authors, despite their difference in the type of literature, can share a common theme of life experiences that are expressed in their writing.
A prime example of how life experiences can influence literature was the work of Langston Hughes. He was one of the most important writers of the Harlem Renaissance, which was the African-American movement in the 1920s that celebrated black culture and life. His creative work was a direct result of his New York City’s Harlem, a primarily African-American neighborhood. Like many others, Hughes had a strong sense of racial pride. His work helped shape American literature and politics. Through his poetry, plays, novels, and children’s books, Hughes brought to light that everyone is created equal. He condemned racism and injustice, but celebrated African-American culture, spirituality, and humor. (Library of Congress)
Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri to two bookkeepers. His parents separated when he was very young. His father moved to Mexico, and his mother left him for long periods of time in search of steady employment. Hughes's grandmother raised him in Lawrence, Kansas, until he was 12, when he moved to Illinois to live with his mother and stepfather. The family later moved to Ohio. From these humble origins, Langston developed a deep admiration for those he called "low-down...