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by Langston Hughes


Symbol Analysis

Well of course "Democracy" is going to give us a little wordplay about… democracy, as well as what it means to most people. So we're talking about freedom, the right to own land, and more importantly, the right to have and exercise your own voice.

  • Lines 1-4: Democracy, no matter where it is, won't come through bargaining with one another or through fear. It takes guts to get and it takes a lot of heart to keep it alive. 
  • Lines 5-9: If one fellow has the right to stand on his own two feet and own the land, then so does anyone else. Democracy doesn't distinguish between color or any other characteristic that tends to limit people in the eyes of society. People are people and they ought to be free to own the land.
  • Lines 13-14: Democracy, just like "tomorrow's bread," isn't any good to anyone if we're dead. So enough talk about "tomorrow." Get the show on the road, because democracy and freedom need to be realized today.

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