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Analysis and comments on Merry-Go-Round by Langston Hughes

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Comment 26 of 41, added on July 18th, 2014 at 5:36 AM.

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Comment 25 of 41, added on February 18th, 2011 at 12:15 PM.

this poem is just talking about the life back then.. it reallydoesnt talk
about nothing about life today.. its just a dumb poem.. black people dont
even care anymore.they sit in the back of the bus either way..

risky from United States
Comment 24 of 41, added on November 3rd, 2010 at 8:58 AM.

its retarded

carl from Pakistan
Comment 23 of 41, added on June 1st, 2010 at 1:43 PM.
Colored Child at Carnival

This black child who comes from “down South” has known racial segregation
ever since he was born. He knows that on buses there black people have to
sit in the back; likewise, on trains, there are cars reserved for them.
Where they have to sit is called the “Jim Crow section”, in reference to
the infamous laws forbidding Blacks to mix with Whites in public places.
This black child is now in the North – a new country to him – and would
like to ride on a merry-go-round – a new problem. Indeed, as we are made to
understand, there is no Jim Crow section on a merry-go-round for the simple
reason that it has neither front nor back. The questions he asks the adult
– maybe a white man – can therefore receive no satisfactory answers. Yet we
are not really interested in the answers, all the more so as there are none
given. Only the child’s questions matter here. They are meant to make us
realise that racial discrimination is a purely arbitrary process and that
its logic is far from impeccable. This particular case – the merry-go-round
– blatantly exposes its intrinsic inanity since the circular shape of the
carousel prevents any form of segregation.
The black child is therefore confronted to a situation where the old rules
no longer apply and is at a loss for what to do. Here again, whether he
eventually chooses to ride on the merry-go-round or not is quite
irrelevant. The point is that he is offered an option he was never allowed
to contemplate hitherto. Paradoxically, the world has opened up in the form
of a closed circle. But this figure of a circle is first and foremost a
metaphor for a perfect – or at least, better – world, freed of all its
man-made divisions and therefore returned to its primeval innocence, where
anybody can live free regardless of the colour of their skin.

Jay Pea from France
Comment 22 of 41, added on December 8th, 2009 at 6:17 PM.

this poem really made me understand how segregation effects younger
children. it must have been so much for him, that he asked if he could get
on a merry go round.

nisma from United States

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Information about Merry-Go-Round

Poet: Langston Hughes
Poem: Merry-Go-Round
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1237 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 6 2003

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