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Published: 20-11-2019

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The Weary Blues Its Language and the Powerful Message

In “The Weary Blues”, Langston Hughes uses unfavorable language to generate a usually discouraging atmosphere. The relentless dark imagery makes the reader overlook an underlying message, as the poem in fact encourages its readers to push against any obstacles in their way. Rather than getting beaten down by one’s issues, one should rise up and continue to resist the slow slide to depression. By means of such ideals, Hughes focuses on instilling hope in African Americans, his main audience.

In the beginning of the poem, Hughes depicts a struggling musician with a weak handle on his problems. The poem starts with, “Droning a drowsy syncopated tune” (1), a simple line with a plethora of info woven in to it. As the 1st line of the poem, it establishes a melancholy tone, even though retaining an oddly rhythmic aspect. The presence of syncopation changes the which means of the starting of the line. It adds a sense of hope, a sort of light at the end of the tunnel. The topic of the poem rocks “back and forth to a mellow croon” (2) he plays. Despite the drowsy, drab scene, music continues to pour from the piano. The man contently swaying to his tune, which overflows with negativity, shows the gilded qualities of the race. From the surface, one particular describes them as effective and joyful, however when you reach the heart of the matter, the predicament modifications. A muddled and wavering core contrasts the gleaming scab surrounding it. This adverse portrayal is the baseline from which the subject gradually loses his grip.

As the poem progresses, the reader gains a far better understanding of the musician’s mental process. The speaker specifies the topic playing the melody as an African American, but places no positive or unfavorable connotation along with it. “I heard a Negro play.” (three), an objective statement, disconnects the speaker from the situation. This negates any bias of the speaker to the subject and makes the reader trusts the speaker much more. The speaker continues to describe the scene, saying he saw the musician “Down on Lenox Avenue the other night”. (4) Lenox Avenue, a significant thoroughfare in the middle of Harlem, areas the topic in a hot bed of African American art and creativity. The reference to the New York street connects Hughes’ poem to the Harlem Renaissance and adds sub-surface meaning. The basis of the cultural movement was the aptitude and skill of African Americans it takes talent to make the old, beat up piano play the smooth, mellow tune. The poem takes a distinct turn right here: rather than exploring the very good factors about African Americans, the speaker adds to the scenery. The man played “By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light”. (5) The shady aspect contrasts the brightness and excitement of the Roaring Twenties in America. The outdated gaslight, employed and gloomy, could not examine to the new electric lights of the time. “He did a lazy sway… /He did a lazy sway…” (six-7), emphasizes the man’s straightforward rock as he plays. Repeating the line adds to the rhythm of the stanza and makes the meaning of the line a lot more evident. Hughes continues compiling the man’s misfortunes, but adds a glimmer of uniqueness and a sense of pride as he writes in the blues form.

The Blues is a uniquely African American art kind. Hughes uses it to determine with his subject and his intended audience. Reflecting the title, the speaker describes the man as swaying “To the tune o’ those Weary Blues. / With his ebony hands on each and every ivory essential/ he produced that poor piano moan with melody” (eight-ten). Not only does the poet introduce the Blues connecting the syncopated tune to the syncopated poetry of the time, but also the subject’s “ebony hands on every ivory key” (9). This contrast shows the cliché “black man in a white world” and shows the man playing the world like a piano and generating melodious music from it. Making use of stereotypes of the day, the author contrasts the pianist’s predicament with his accomplishments. This emboldens other individuals to do the very same and overcome their adversities with their abilities.

Considerably like the dull lamp, the tottering stool increases the burden on the pianist’s shoulders. The man is “Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool” (12). The unsteady base is a reference to the man’s shaky past, however it nonetheless supports him and the man is successful. Even with second-price equipment, the musician “played that raggy tine like a musical fool. Sweet Blues!” (13-14) The man doesn’t care that he plays on a beat up piano rather than in a private club in an upper class neighborhood. Music is noticed as indifferent to race and scenario. It, like other art types, enables one particular to express themselves on an even plane. Displaying far more of the musician’s connection to his piece, the speaker describes the music as “Coming from a black man’s soul.” (15) Rather than being a item of the musician, his song becomes a component of the man. The sad song he plays is now even much more connected to him personally. The metaphorical gray cloud over the man’s head swells with disheartening rain as Hughes continues describing him.

The circumstance further deteriorates when the man begins singing. No longer does the man only play a mellow Blues tune, his melancholy lyrics further reveal his situation. Even just before the actual lyrics, the reader can envision the man leisurely letting the words flow from his mouth. “In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan—” (17-18), the man and the instrument have a connection to one particular yet another. As a unit, the gloomy pair sang “Ain’t got nobody in all this planet, Ain’t got nobody but ma self” (19-20). This very first sentence of lyrics isolates the man and his ethnicity from the rest of the world. African Americans really feel as if no 1 but themselves appear out for them and that they are quarantined from the rest of humanity. To finish the thought and the stanza, the lyrics say, “I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’ And put ma troubles on the shelf” (21-22). Employing ebonic dialect in the lyrics places the man as distinctly African American who does not speak the accepted, “white” English. This distinctive high quality among African Americans tends to make them one particular with the topic of the poem. Putting his troubles on the shelf, the musician in the poem decides to cease allowing troubles to get in his way. He has to rely on his own will to achieve goals, the man resolves to quit letting issues make him miserable and to power by way of them.

The pianist teeters on the edge of depression following, just lines just before, deciding to resist falling into such a state the man is unstable and contemplates giving up on life. In the beginning of the final stanza, the musician shortly stops singing to stomp the beat with his foot and play intermittent chords prior to continuing to sing on. “I got the Weary Blues/ And I cannot be satisfied. / Got the Weary Blues/ And can’t be satisfied” (25-28). The man knows of his own glum situation, but determines that there can be no finish to his sadness. The preceding lyric of placing his issues on a shelf seems only to have led to much more difficulties. These “Weary Blues” appear as if they’ll by no means go away, however he continues to play. The final two lines of lyrics are especially dark, “I ain’t pleased no mo’ And I wish that I had died” (29-30). Hoping for death is not a productive believed. The man is struggling with whether or not or not resisting his troubles is worth it. Pondering this idea late at night, the man stops and goes to bed. He does this only after “The stars went out and so did the moon” (32). These little, twinkling lights in the sky are his hope, the only point keeping him going. When he no longer has hope, there seems no explanation for the man to keep awake (33). “The singer stopped playing and went to bed”, is a slower, much less flowing line. It tends to make the reader cease and pronounce each and every word, breaking the simple present of the Blues form. All through the poem, the poet followed classic Blues kind and rhythm, but at the end, Hughes plays with the form to disturb the reader. The last 3 lines of the poem rhyme, the last two being “While the Weary Blues echoed by way of his head. / He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.” These lines express the seriousness of the man’s early claims of wanting to die. The dark, mysterious ending, when related to the rest of the poem, shows the man fighting against a will to die. The scenario and position the musician is in drove him to suicidal thoughts, the moon and stars maintaining him hopeful, he played lengthy into the evening. When his hope fell away, he went to sleep, not a dead sleep, but a deep one particular the man had his troubles on his mind even though he lied down to sleep. Earlier in the poem, he’d agreed to put them on a shelf and not to worry about them. As his syncopated tune fades, the issues return. The man has run out of factors to fight, he reaches for something to pull him from the emotional chasm.

The man’s descent from playing mellow tune to a depressing death-wish type song brings the story of the musician and the African American race complete circle. Sleeping like a rock, the man is as very good as dead, but he will rise the subsequent morning to play the exact same gorgeous, depressing song as soon as once again. Waking allows the man to after once again location his complications on a shelf and hope the stars and moon by no means go out. Hughes is showing the reader no matter the negatives, there is a reason to wake up each and every morning.
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