Summary Of Zora Neale Hurston And Langston Hughes

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Capturing the essence of the black narrative is task that many attempt, but few truly capture. Two of the most famous writers to get it right in their own way were Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. Each writer’s upbringing influenced their depiction of the black experience. Hurston was raised in Eatonville, Florida, a predominately black town where discrimination was rare. Since she had minimal encounters with white people, she was able to capture a black narrative of resilience rather than redemption. Hughes, on the other hand, was born in Joplin, Missouri to an affluent family. Although he was never able to flex that wealth, he still had an ideal of success, which heavily influence his depiction of common black folks. Hughes focuses on common black people who have or haven’t been able to capture the “American” dream, but are finding alternatives of the dream. Two different ideas, yet each writer uses their work to define success and happiness. In this paper, I will argue that Hurston illustrates “common folk” as a resilient people who find success by gaining happiness and comfort in spaces created just for them. I will also assert that Hughes depicts a two sided “common folk” that is defined through their level of success.
One of the main differences in Hurston’s versus Hughes’s depiction of “common folks” is the source of information. Hurston’s stories came directly from the source. She was able to capture a dialect and emotion that can only be captured through

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