Questions on Langston Hughes' poem "Let America Be America Again" encourage close reading, analysis of poetic elements, as well as deeper thinking and discussion about the themes and big ideas of the poems.
This poem expresses disillusionment as well as hope. While Hughes points out all the problems, all the ways that less powerful groups suffer in the United States, he also has hope that the people will one day rise up and make the country great, fulfilling its potential in a way that they have not done yet.
This handout of thorough and precise questions is ready to go with minimal prep on the part of the teacher.
There are also prompts for in-class writing as well as for longer assessment.
Pairings: “Let America Be America Again” could be used with many texts that deal with the American Dream, race, power, or class. Suggestions include: Their Eyes were Watching God, Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, A Raisin in the Sun, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men.