In the poem Let America Be America, Langston Hughes reflects on the failure of the United States to fulfill the American dream. The poem speaks the truths of the lack of freedom and equality for all, and the hopelessness and restlessness of those who came to this country seeking that freedom and equality.
Hughes draws the readers" attention to his plea by beginning it with regular verses that has irregular and inconsistent patterns with a remorseful chorus in between. After he has the reader trying to determine whether "America" is what they want it to be he changes the poem to more of a conversational structure and he begins to write in irregular stanzas. He asks a question "Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?" After these questions Hughes began to write in regular stanzas and go about trying to get the reader to forget about what he has talked about before and have them think about those that have worked so hard to build the United States.
Hughes could have used the poem to speak for one race of people, but he didn't. Instead he develops it into a plea for "me", meaning the poor white, the Native American, the immigrant, the young man whom is stuck in the endless chain of power and greed, and the African American that all built this country. The emotions that appear throughout the poem refer the reader to the background of how less fortunate people expected America to be. It also indicates what the United States had become to them and what it could struggle to become again. People from everywhere came searching for a free and fair world. There were those looking for peace and a fresh start and those brought to the United States against their will. Eventually they all wanted the same thing, a chance to begin a wealthy and prosperous life with the fortune and opportunity they had all heard of. .
Hughes seems to imagine back to a time when he dreamed of a land so beautiful and caring in which he could start over be free to live his life as he wishes.