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by Langston Hughes

Democracy Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How would you describe the speaker's tone in the poem? What word choices give you your ideas? What does his tone tell us about the intended audience for this poem? 
  2. We notice a rhyme in every stanza, but there isn't a prescribed form or meter. Is there any connection between the poem's form and the theme of freedom? Why or why not? 
  3. How does the speaker use common idioms throughout the poem? How do these idioms help to illuminate the poem's themes?
  4. What does the speaker mean when he talks about "tomorrow's bread"? How is tomorrow's bread a metaphor for the need for freedom?
  5. Why is freedom described in the poem as a "strong seed"? How does the imagery of a planted seed relate to the poem's themes of freedom and democracy?

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