`` Let America Be America Again `` By Langston Hughes And Upton Sinclair

1310 Words6 Pages
Life, liberty, freedom, equality, opportunity, and so many other words have been used to describe the United States of America. Every American child grows up with the words “the land of the free” pounded into their heads, and every morning schools declare America as a place of “liberty and justice for all.” Such inflated rhetoric presents America with large shoes to fill. Thus, America’s shortcomings should not be surprising. Langston Hughes and Upton Sinclair were two 20th Century writers, who saw past this idealistic talk and saw the jungle that the United States really was. Langston Hughes wrote in his poem “Let America be America Again”, “Let America be America again. –Let it be the dream it used to be. –Let it be the pioneer on the plain –Seeking a home where himself is free. –(America was never America to me) (1).” He highlights not only the experience of African Americans during the 1930s, but identifies with other oppressed groups including immigrants writing, “I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—And finding only the same old stupid plan –Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.” Likewise, Upton Sinclair conveyed his repulsion to immigrant oppression during the Industrial Revolution in his book The Jungle, emphasizing the gullibility behind trusting the grandiloquence of the American dream. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in hopes of empathizing with the American public on behalf of countless immigrants working in slums and corrupt industries during the

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