Example research essay topic: Comparing The Poetry Of Langston Hughes And Robert Frost – 1,130 words

When put into perspective, many poets of the
twentieth century have touched us as a society;
Robert Frost and Langston Hughes are excellent
examples. By reading the poems of these two famed
American poets, we can see the hidden meanings
which reflect the lives of each author. Children’s
Rhymes by Langston Hughes has a definite relation
not only to his own life, but to his
African-American heritage as well. This poem —
written from the supposed point of view of a child
— depicts the inequalities which plagued the
African-American society of Hughes’ time. By what
sends the white kids I ain’t sent: I know I can’t
be President. This verse describes the belief that
a young black man or woman — no matter how
intelligent, hard-working, or resourceful he/she
may be — could not, one day, be president.

The
discrimination displayed here clearly puts the
prejudice Hughes may or may not have suffered
during his life, into perspective. Lies written
down for white folks ain’t for us a-tall: Liberty
And Justice– Huh!–For All? These words — the
final verse in the poem — show the reader that
black people of the early-mid 20th century were
not only held back, but put down as well. The
first three lines suggest that where white people
were given breaks in the law, the black members of
our society were restricted beyond the extent of
the law. The two final lines — the most
significant of the poem — show us that
African-Americans were not yet truly free at the
writing of the poem. Other poems written by
Langston Hughes also demonstrate these views on
20th century society; for example, Hughes’ poem
Mother to Son. The poem is written from the point
of view of a black mother, telling her son of her
hardships during her life.

The writing style is
purposefully that of the language of an uneducated
African-American — the norm for the era in which
she would have lived. The line: Life for me ain’t
been no crystal stair. appears near the start of
the poem and is repeated as the last line. The
woman goes on to say that she’s ‘climbed’ these
proverbial stairs, and is still climbing. The idea
that the stairs she has climbed haven’t been
‘crystal’ is a metaphor saying that life hasn’t
exactly been kind to her; she has never
experienced wealth or prosperity. The way that the
woman explains how life is still hard and will
probably always be hard is obvious throughout the
poem.

However, unlike in Children’s Rhymes, Hughes
explains that one cannot give up simply because of
hardships, which shows that Hughes had not
completely given up on the society of which he was
a part. Robert Frost — one of the most beloved
poets from the United States — wrote many poems
which reflected his thoughts and feelings about
life. The poem The Armful is an excellent sample
of this. In this poem, Frost tells us that he is
struggling to keep his ‘armful’ from slipping out
of his hands. For every parcel I stoop down to
seize I lose some other off my arms and knees, And
the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns,
Extremes too hard to comprehend at once This is
very significant of Frost’s efforts to juggle his
career (writing), his family, and even his
politics. These aspects of his life are the
‘bottles’, ‘buns’ and ‘extremes too hard to
comprehend at once.’ Frost continues on to explain
how he is managing all of this.

Yet nothing I
should care to leave behind. With all I have to
hold with hand and mind And heart, if need be, I
will do my best. To keep their building balanced
at my breast. I crouch down to prevent them as
they fall; Then sit down in the middle of them
all. I had to drop the armful in the road And try
to stack them in a better load. Frost tells us
that even though he may have some trouble
balancing the aspects of his life, he will not
leave any of it behind; he will pick up the pieces
and continue on his way through life.

He indicates
that should everything fall from his hands, he
will ‘sit down in the middle of them all…and try
to stack them in a better load.’ This indicative
that Frost is optimistic that he can put his life
back together even if absolutely everything falls
apart. Frost’s poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy
Evening gives us the same impression as the end of
The Armful, by the means of telling us that he is
not about to give up on anything in his life. The
woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have
promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. This verse is very
meaningful in showing that Frost is very intent on
continuing his journey through life without having
anything stop him from succeeding. The way he uses
‘promises’ could very well mean that he has made a
promise, in a sense, to his family and to himself
that he won’t let anything stop him from living
and writing. When we compare both Frost’s The
Armful and Hughes’ Children’s Rhyme, we may notice
some differences as well as some similarities.
While The Armful indicative of Frost’s life
directly, we see that Children’s Rhyme more or
less represents Hughes’ thoughts on, not so much
his own life, but a life as an African-American in
the United States.

Hughes implies that being black
during his lifetime was much more difficult than
being white due to the discrimination his people
suffered during those times. On the other hand,
Frost is showing us that he isn’t worried about
the views of a society, he is worried about
fumbling things in his life and creating a
situation in which he would have to pick up the
pieces and start over. By reading these two poems
and comparing them, we can also see that Hughes’
poem is much more political and deals with much
more societal problems than that of Frost. Hughes
discusses the strife involved between black people
and the law of that era by rhetorically asking
whether or not there is truly justice for all.
Frost, however, does not deal with politics in his
poem, other than his own life; he simply told us
of how he is trying to manage his life. Both of
these poets directly or indirectly put themselves
into their poetry, whether it be by discussing
their lives, or by showing us the truth behind
their views. Needless to say, they have touched
our lives as a society in a great way..

Research essay sample on Comparing The Poetry Of Langston Hughes And Robert Frost