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Analysis and comments on Problems by Langston Hughes

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Comment 20 of 130, added on March 29th, 2007 at 9:09 PM.

“Problems,” by Langston Hughes, is one of his shorter poems. In this little
poem, Hughes uses simple mathematics to represent a deeper theme: identity.
The line “2 and 2 are 4” represents the consistency in humanity but, his
second stanza goes on to show how these identities can easily shift in
life. “If one 2 was me” suggests that things change as well as people and
people can shift in and out of other people’s lives. The title “problem”
suggests that, though there are problems in life and between humans, there
is an underlying consistency to be understood. These problems can “divide”
us, but it doesn’t mean that the outcome should come out any different.
Langston Hughes may be trying to imply that these “problem” are often
racial ones, especially in his time. Numbers are always numbers; people are
always people. The importance of these concepts shouldn’t be determined by
what number it is but rather just the fact it’s a number. With so many
uncontrollable variables in life, any consistency should be held on it. “If
one 2 was me” shows that Langston Hughes himself could have been born a
white man (or a 4) but it wouldn’t change his ultimate function.

Amdipuh
Comment 19 of 130, added on March 29th, 2007 at 9:04 AM.

Very Good!

Dedrick Dunton from United States
Comment 18 of 130, added on July 20th, 2006 at 4:20 AM.

Great things come in small, if you like use simple, packages. The message
here is about the universality of the human expereince. It is not just
about racial, ethnic or gender realities but rather the entire notion of
how we all relate to another. "I am just another half of you, no matter who
you are anf both of us together will always add-up to a BIGGER SUMbody". So
watch it whenever you diminish someone else out of prejudice, you are
really HALFING yourself. And vice, when you DOUBLE someeone else, you are
in restrospect and in reflex, also LIFTED UP

FM from Nigeria
Comment 17 of 130, added on June 10th, 2006 at 12:11 AM.

Is it just deep or what? I didn't understand the supposedly meaning of the
poem. What's the message, huh? Can someone even tell? And why did the heck
did he even write the poem? Does the author himself understand his own
written piece???

langlo from Philippines
Comment 16 of 130, added on April 29th, 2006 at 10:58 AM.

how can anyone understand this poem i hate math and this poem makes no
sense at all!!!!!!!!!!

nabilah from United States
Comment 15 of 130, added on April 24th, 2006 at 8:05 PM.

This poem is excellent!! simple but complexed!! The complexity of the poem
is the equation it self, but the simplicity of it is the solution, because
what it all adds up to and what it oil boils down to is simply.... EQUALITY

Kenya Swain from Bahamas
Comment 14 of 130, added on April 16th, 2006 at 9:09 PM.

I agree with Victorious, who agrees with Clifton. After analyzing this poem
I think if has to do with the racial differences and similarities of
African Americans and Caucasians. The point coming across for me is that
people back then believed that an African American is only worth half of an
Anglo American, which is extremely untrue. But at the end trying to say
that they are equal.

Vrikk from United States
Comment 13 of 130, added on March 17th, 2006 at 10:01 AM.

Wow this poem is awesome though we don't quite get it!

Britt & BG from United States
Comment 12 of 130, added on February 5th, 2006 at 2:32 AM.

I AGREE WIT CLIFTON 4RM DA U.S. ITS COMPLICATED BUT I THINK DATS WAT HUGHES
WAS SAYIN. NEWAYZ ITS AN AMAZING POEM LIKE ALL OF HIS OTHER ONES. HE
REMAINS MY INSPIRATION LIKE THE SUN IS INSPIRATION FOR A BRIGHTER DAY! :-)
-1LUV 2 ALL MY PPLS IN DA CHI HOLLA AT A SISTA1!! -ALWAYZ SUPPORT OUR
TROOPS!! SHOUT OUT 2 GG I GOT UNEXPLAINABLE LUV 4U STAY STRONG LIKE I KNOW
U ARE!!!

VICTORIOUS!!! from United States
Comment 11 of 130, added on December 14th, 2005 at 10:46 AM.

This makes no sense what so ever

Joe from United States

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Information about Problems

Poet: Langston Hughes
Poem: Problems
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 8 times
Poem of the Day: Feb 28 2004


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