Gwendolyn Brooks Essay

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Malcolm X once said “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace without their freedom.” This is an outstanding example of both the human condition and human longings, as well as representing the African Americans, since Malcolm X was also of this American minority. Poetry is one of the forms most liable to lending itself to these human longings. Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Hayden each express the longings of the African American people and culture as well as broader human longings in their poems The Explorer, and Frederick Douglass. First of all, in The Explorer, Brooks conveys a strong desire for peace and stillness. This expresses both the social aspects of Brooks’s writing as well as the wider, human aspects.…show more content…
A beautiful aspect of this poem is the way it expresses the idea that freedom should be and is as necessary and as common as the pulse or the air we breathe. He also acknowledges that freedom is terrible. Perhaps it relates to the choices Brooks points out in her poem which the character is afraid of. However, he more nearly means that freedom is terrible when it is close yet far, when one lacks it—like drowning a few inches from the surface of the water. Hayden gives breath to dreams and the ideal of freedom and hope. Frederick Douglass, according to Hayden, was “visioning a world where none is lonely, none hunted, alien…” This is perhaps the most important line about Douglass himself, not only speaking of the man himself, but what he stood and fought for. This dream and idea is beautiful, a vision of human unity, absence of exclusion, and no more discrimination or prejudice. This poem lends itself clearly the African American people, due to who and about whom the poem is, but also expresses a wider human need—the need for freedom, acceptance, and safety (“liberty,” “none is lonely”, “none hunted,”). Hayden skillfully and eloquently expressed the cry of the African American people, a deep human longing for peace, unity, and freedom, while simultaneously addressing a historic man of his own people: Frederick

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