Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/151399
Title: TOM-TOM BEATING & HISTORIES PROPERLY TOLD: REALISING DEMOCRACY THROUGH THE AFRO-MODERNIST POETRY OF LANGSTON HUGHES
Authors: TAN WEI JIA, ZENDA
Issue Date: 12-Nov-2018
Citation: TAN WEI JIA, ZENDA (2018-11-12). TOM-TOM BEATING & HISTORIES PROPERLY TOLD: REALISING DEMOCRACY THROUGH THE AFRO-MODERNIST POETRY OF LANGSTON HUGHES. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The premise of this thesis is that Walt Whitman's vision for a transcendental agent, who would embody and express America's true democracy, was one that was impeded by sustained racial prejudice in the country. The thesis propounds that Langston Hughes, in championing Whitman's ideals and yet recognising how racial shame and standardisation incapacitates these plans, serves an intermediary role in Whitman's (literary) political project; Hughes's poetry zealously gives artistic expression to the African American experience, thus critically bridging the gap between a racially bifurcated country and the emergence of a Whitmanian transcendental agent. Chapter one, building on Whitman's concept of "histories properly told", is dedicated to how Hughes's poetry unabashedly exhibits the Black-American's racial experience: the richness of his heritage, and the debilitating repercussions of racial subjugation (Whitman 12). Extending from the first chapter, chapter two then analyses the formal qualities of Hughes's modernist poems, particularly in the ways that his writing is influenced by blues and jazz music. Both chapters, compounded, demonstrate that through contributing to and establishing an idiosyncratically Black-American literary genre in America, Hughes sought to advance Whitman's democratic aspirations.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/151399
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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