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WHAT IS

DEMOCRACY?

DO NOW: INTERPRET THIS QUOTE BY


SUMMARIZING IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS

LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1967)

Major contributor of the Harlem


Renaissance
Wrote about black life in America during
the 1920s and 1960s to reflect black
culture and struggle

DEMOCRACY
BY LANGSTON HUGHES
Structure
(meaning)
What is the main
point of this
stanza?

POEM
Stanza 1:
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear

Craft (Meaning)
Why wont
democracy come?
Why would fear and
compromise prevent
democracy?

Structure
(meaning)
What is the main
point of this
stanza?

POEM
Stanza 2:
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land

Craft (Meaning)

Who is this other fellow?


What does the other fellow
symbolize?
What does he mean by
stand on his own two feet
and own the land?

Structure
(meaning)
What is the
main point of
this stanza?

POEM
Stanza 3:
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when Im dead
I cannot live on tomorrows bread

Craft (Meaning)
What is meant by
letting things take
their course?

Bread is compared
with:
a. Tomorrow
b. Freedom
c. Hope
d. Living
Why? What kind of
figurative language is
this line?

I DO NOT NEED FREEDOM WHEN IM DEAD

What is the meaning of the line?


When does he need freedom?
When do people need freedom?

Structure
(meaning)
What is the
main point of
this stanza?

POEM
Stanza 4:

Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted
In a great need

Craft (Meaning)
Freedom is a strong
seed is an example of
a:
a. Metaphor
b. Simile
Why is freedom
compared to a strong
seed?
How does the last two
lines of the stanza help
to answer the question
above?

Structure
(meaning)
What is the
main point of
this stanza?

POEM
Stanza 5:

I live here, too.


I want freedom
Just as you

Craft (Meaning)
Is the meaning of this stanza
implicit or explicit? Why?
Who does you represent?

CHOOSE TWO WAYS THAT THE USE OF FREEVERSE FORM CONTRIBUTES TO THE MEANING
OF DEMOCRACY

The use of repetition of the word freedom reinforces the idea that he wants justice

The use of rhymes makes the poem fun to read

The use of compare and contrast between the speaker and the other fellow shows that
some people are not treated as fairly as others

The use of a set sentence length creates a regular beat

The use of lines create suspense

WHAT IS LANGSTON HUGHES PERSPECTIVE OF


DEMOCRACY?

AUTHORS PERSPECTIVE OF DEMOCRACY:

Democracy means everyone


is treated equally
It is a basic right
People need it NOW, not later

WHAT IS SARA HOLBROOKS


PERSPECTIVE ON DEMOCRACY?

IN DEMOCRACY, A NUMBER OF THINGS


HAPPEN, AND EACH HAS A CAUSE. WRITE ONE
OR TWO DETAILS FROM THE STORY TO
IDENTIFY WHAT CAUSES EACH EVENT
CAUSE

EVENT

The woman stole the toilet paper

The narrator said, Maam, did you take our


toilet paper?

The narrator says, I have to ask for it back.

STANZA 1

Describe the imagery in the first stanza.


What mood is conveyed based on the
imager?

STANZA 2
What does the thump (onomatopoeia) let us know about the
story in the poem?
Why do you think she stole the toilet paper?
- What about this statement is explicit?
- What about this statement could be implicit?
Why do they mention that the toilet paper is government issue?
- How does this connect with the title of the poem?

STANZA 3
murder a mountain of forest for the confusion of paper it takes to
purchase a pencil through proper procurement (buying) procedures
(methods).
- Translation?
Same government that offers tax abated (reduced) housing to forprofit football teams (rich) and levies(collects) income tax on
wheres-the-profit unemployment compensation.
- Translation?

STANZA 4 (YOU TRANSLATE!) T/W/P/S


The same government that issues food stamps for KoolAid, popsicles and tater tots, but not for toilet paper, like
its some privilege that poor folks dont need.
Why does the author mention Kool-Aid, popsicles
and tater tots before saying that food stamps dont
buy toilet paper?
What does the poet mean by privilege?
What is the authors tone in this line?

STANZA 5
Is the mother of the narrator actually there?
What does the narrator mean IMPLICITALLY when
she says, I rub at the crows feet(wrinkles), which are
deepening into my mothers face?
What does reluctant mean?
What do you think the mountain might symbolize?
What is she about to do?

STANZA 6

How do you think the woman who stole the toilet


paper feels right now?

STANZA 7

Why do you think the woman stole the toilet


paper?
What clues did we read earlier in the poem that
might help us answer the question above?

DIRECTIONS: (5MINS)
Why does she need the toilet paper?
She needs toilet paper because on page 115,
lines 51 and 52 it says,
____________(evidence). This shows that
_________(explanation).

Practically speaking, she is republican.


- What does the poet mean by this?

Republican: Based on
individual rights and justice
Democrat: Based on
community and social
responsibility

Is the woman being Republican?

Why does the narrator ask for it back?


Is the narrator being Democratic?

STANZA 9

I retreat (go back) to return the basics to the necessary place, dizzy with democracy.
What does she mean by basics?
Is dizzy a positive word?
Why does the author say dizzy with democracy?
Does democracy seem positive in this poem based on the authors tone?

WHAT IS THE SARA HOLBROOKS PERSPECTIVE


ON DEMOCRACY?

On demand writing.GO.