יום שלישי, 23 באפריל 2013

As I Grew Older / Langston Hughes (1902-1967) סיכום נקודות חשובות הסבר פירוט תשובות literature 5 points חינם


As I Grew Older / Langston Hughes (1902-1967)



      Langston Hughes was a famous African-American poet who lived during
the time of worldwide racial oppression (
(דיכוי against black people in America.
±      Hughes was involved in the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and wrote protest poetry.
±      Hughes was a part of the Harlem Renaissance as one of the finest poets to promote African-American culture, such as jazz music.
Cultural Issues
v     Until the end of the American Civil War (1865), African-Americans
were held slaves in the southern states. However, even after they were freed, they were not treated as equals. They were oppressed and discriminated against. For example, they could not eat or study in the same places, or even sit next to a white person on the bus (segregation
הפרדה גזעית). This went on until they began fighting for equal rights nearly 100 years later under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1950s and 1960s.
v     Langston Hughes was a Harlem Renaissance writer, deeply concerned with the racial pride and with the creation of African-American poetry as an independent genre.  He wrote jazz poetry in the style of jazz music he loved. (Jazz originated in the United States as an African-American version of European music, and therefore also symbolized the equality of white and black people.)
v     Originally called the New Negro Movement, the Harlem Renaissance was a literary and intellectual movement that encouraged a new black cultural identity in the 1920s and 1930s. It is a "spiritual coming of age" in which the black community was able to take control of its "first chances for group expression and self determination הגדרה עצמית."
v     Since racism was still widespread and economic opportunities were rare, creative expression was one of the few ways available to African-Americans in the early 20th century. The Harlem Renaissance transformed "social disillusionment to race pride."
Interpretation of the poem
±      Echoing the free and individual expressiveness of jazz, the poem is written all in one stanza, with irregular line lengths and no specific rhyme scheme. The simple vocabulary makes each word important, the themes are clear, and repetitions in the poem create movement. The speaker is the poet himself, telling us about his own personal experience in his life. The setting of the poem is divided into three clear time frames.
±      - The past - In the past, the speaker was a young person who had dreams for his future, but he found there was a big obstacle to his dream, a wall.
±      -The present - His present situation is life in the dark shadow of the thick wall. All he is able to do is lie down, as he is blocked off from light and from reaching his dream.
±      - The future - His future plan is to fight against the wall and do everything he can to break it down and fulfill not only his first dream but also many others (“a thousand lights of sun”).
Theme and Message
±      The poem is about the inability to achieve childhood dreams because of racism and prejudice. When the speaker was young, he had dreams of achieving great things. His dreams were “Bright like sun”. As he grew up, he experienced prejudice and racial discrimination, and his naïve and optimistic dreams were shattered.
±      The racism and prejudice that the speaker encountered because of his skin color are “the wall” that grew higher until it blocked his childhood dreams. This wall caused him to live in a “shadow” of depression and despair.
±      In the last stanza (divided to stanzas by ECB), the poet commands his hands to break through the wall so that he can overcome the prejudice and achieve his dreams.
±      The poem is a comment on racial prejudice, discrimination or any form of oppression ((דִּכּוּי that makes people unable to fulfill their dreams. It may be because of age, gender, nationality or religion.
±      The poet implies that when a person’s potential, or his/her worth as a human being is prevented and ignored because of racism,
it is a global loss.

Literary Terms & Analysis questions (p. 52-54)
Tone – is the attitude of the speaker or narrator as communicated by the writer through his/her choice of words. The tone may be serious, humorous, playful, ironic, etc. The tone can change in the different stanzas
v      Lines 1-6: naïve, optimistic, innocent (bright like a sun –My dream).
v     Lines 7-16: depressing, angry, (wall, between me and my dream. Dimming, hiding, the light of my dream).
v     Lines 17-23: pessimistic, depressing, angry (shadow, No longer the light of my dream, thick wall).
v     Lines 24-33: hopeful (the lines express hope that the speaker can achieve his dream).
A simile is when you compare two nouns (persons, places or things) with "like" or "as.“
Her hair is like the sun. He is as strong as a lion.
A metaphor is when you use two nouns and compare or contrast them to one another. Unlike simile, you don't use "like" or "as" in the comparison.
My life is a dream.  Life is a journey
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” (Shakespeare)
p. 53
v     1. The wall symbolizes an obstacle to the speaker’s dream. Keeping in mind that the poet/speaker was an African-American, the obstacle is racism, prejudice and discrimination.
v     2. The speaker means that he cannot achieve his dream because of the obstacles in his way. The wall is blocking him from reaching his dream.
v     3. Thinking skill of cause and effect.
v     The growing wall (the child’s growing awareness of racial prejudice) has caused the speaker’s mood to change. As the wall grows, it casts a shadow, which is the despair that the speaker feels. The speaker is completely shocked and overwhelmed by the prejudice and “lies down in the shadow”. He feels defeated, unable to function and has given up hope as a result of the prejudice.
v     4. He is not going to give up on his dream. In lines 24-33, he commands his hands to break through the wall. His hands are the “tool” that will break through the metaphoric wall and destroy the hatred and prejudice.
v     The hands may also symbolize creative power that breaks down the wall. In other words, the poet’s use of his hands by writing will enable him to overcome prejudice and achieve his dream.
Light
Darkness
Dreams
hope
Optimism
possibilities / opportunities
goodness
awareness
intellectual achievement

Prejudice
discrimination
hatred
racism
ignorance
evil
*      Darkness does not always have a negative connotation in the poem. The shadow and darkness caused by the wall have a negative connotation. However, the poet himself is black and he makes reference to his “dark hands” – in this case darkness is positive. The poet’s / speaker’s dark skin color is the target of prejudice to which he is so strongly opposed. It is the dark of prejudice that has a negative connotation, not his dark skin color.
*      1. At first, the obstacles make the speaker feel depressed and defeated. He is a victim and he sees only a thick wall in front of him. However, he refuses to accept the role of victim because he commands his hands to break through the obstacles so that he can achieve his goals. The speaker knows that he can rely on himself and his personal strength, so he tries actively to do something to change his situation.
*      2. The theme of the poem is the negative effects of racism. Prejudice and discrimination. The message of the poem is that we must take action against unjust society, deal with prejudice and rise above it. We can only rely on ourselves to do this.
*      3. No, the poem is not only about racism. Someone may be prevented from achieving a dream because of “walls”, or obstacles such as age, gender, nationality or religion. Prejudice against any minority group or person is a “wall” that makes it harder for them to achieve their dream.
Bridging text and context – p. 54
1. The poem, written in 1926, is about an African-American whose childhood dreams are shattered as he grows up in America. Langston Hughes was an African-American who grew up in America. He fought for racial equality and is speaking for all African-Americans who lived in America at the time. In the poem, the speaker and the poet are probably the same person. The speaker experiences racism growing up and cannot fulfill his potential. At the end of the poem, the speaker breaks through the wall with his dark hands. This shows pride in his blackness and African heritage. He expresses hope for a future of racial equality and freedom.
It is significant that the speaker uses his hands to break through the wall of prejudice and to achieve his dreams, because it is through art, literature and music, which require the use of their hands to write and paint, that African-Americans believed they could challenge racial stereotypes and bring about racial equality.
2. Yes, I think that the speaker in the poem is really the poet because both of them are African-American, both experience prejudice and both try to overcome it. The events in the poem could reflect the poet's life because we know that he was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement. He believed that writing and art would bring about racial equality, and the speaker in the poem talks about using his hands as a "tool" to overcome prejudice.
I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.
Langston Hughes








As I Grew Older By Langston Hughes
It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun--
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky--
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

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