Similarities Between Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 822 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 822|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Language and Style
  2. Themes
  3. Representation of the African American Experience
  4. Conclusion

Throughout the history of American literature, there have been several prominent African American writers who have contributed greatly to the literary canon. Among these writers are Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and James Weldon Johnson. While each of these writers had their own unique style and voice, they also shared some striking similarities in their works. In this essay, we will explore the similarities between Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks, focusing on their use of language, themes, and their commitment to representing the African American experience. Through a comparative analysis of their works, we will uncover the ways in which Hughes and Brooks were similar in their approach to writing and the impact they had on American literature.

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Language and Style

One of the key similarities between Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks is their masterful use of language and style. Both writers were known for their ability to capture the essence of the African American experience through their poetic and lyrical language.

In his poem "I, Too," Langston Hughes writes:

"I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,"

Here, Hughes uses simple and direct language to convey the message of racial inequality. He employs a conversational tone and employs repetition to emphasize the speaker's assertion of their identity as an integral part of America.

Similarly, Gwendolyn Brooks also utilizes vivid and evocative language in her poem "We Real Cool." She writes:

"We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon."

Brooks's use of enjambment and concise language creates a rhythmic and powerful effect. The repeated use of "We" and the short, fragmented lines convey the rebellious and defiant nature of the characters in the poem.

Through these examples, it becomes clear that both Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks had a mastery of language and a unique ability to convey complex emotions and experiences through their writing.


In addition to their similar use of language, Hughes and Brooks also shared similar themes in their works. Both writers explored the African American experience and delved into issues of racial inequality, identity, and the struggle for equality.

For instance, Langston Hughes often wrote about the experiences of African Americans living in poverty and the ways in which they were marginalized by society. In his poem "Harlem," he asks:

"What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?"

Here, Hughes is exploring the consequences of racial inequality and the impact it has on the dreams and aspirations of African Americans. He raises questions about the potential consequences of denying individuals their rights and opportunities.

Gwendolyn Brooks, on the other hand, often focused on the lives of ordinary African Americans and the struggles they faced. In her poem "The Bean Eaters," she writes:

"They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,
Tin flatware."

Brooks's poem highlights the simplicity and resilience of African American families living in poverty. She sheds light on their everyday struggles and celebrates their strength.

Through these examples, it is evident that both Hughes and Brooks were deeply invested in exploring the African American experience and shedding light on the social and racial issues of their time.

Representation of the African American Experience

In addition to their shared themes, Hughes and Brooks were both committed to representing the African American experience in their works. They aimed to give voice to the marginalized and shed light on the realities of African American life in America.

Langston Hughes's poem "I, Too" is a powerful example of his dedication to representing the African American experience. The poem asserts the speaker's place in America, despite being segregated and excluded. It showcases the resilience and strength of African Americans in the face of adversity.

Gwendolyn Brooks, too, was deeply committed to representing the African American experience. In her poem "The Mother," she explores the pain and loss experienced by African American women who were forced to have abortions due to societal pressures and constraints. The poem gives voice to the anguish and grief of these women, shedding light on a topic that was often silenced.

Through their works, both Hughes and Brooks aimed to challenge stereotypes and give voice to the experiences of African Americans. They paved the way for future generations of African American writers to continue telling their stories and shaping the literary landscape.

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In conclusion, Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks were both influential African American writers who made significant contributions to American literature. Through their use of language, exploration of similar themes, and dedication to representing the African American experience, they left a lasting impact on the literary canon. Their works continue to be celebrated and studied today, inspiring future generations of writers to explore the complexities of race, identity, and social justice. By examining the similarities between these two writers, we gain a deeper understanding of their shared legacy and the ways in which they shaped the literary landscape of America.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Similarities Between Langston Hughes And Gwendolyn Brooks. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from
“Similarities Between Langston Hughes And Gwendolyn Brooks.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
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