On The Road, Langston Hughes Essay

812 words - 4 pages

On The Road – Langston Hughes

“On the Road” is a short story which focuses on the difficult integration of an African-American boy called Sargeant. Through the story, he tries to find a place to stay for the night but faces racial discrimination. At first, he goes to a house but unfortunately the owner, Mr. Dorset shuts the door and does not want to hear about Sargeant’s story. He then turns himself to a church but the doors are locked, so he knocks the door down and the church finally falls down. After that, he dreams about walking with Jesus and ends up very confused in jail. In the story, the major theme is racism and it is expressed by the writer through literary techniques and ...view middle of the document...

Through the story, Sargeant is unable to pass through the door of Mr. Dorset’s house and through the door of the church. It brings the theme of doors being shut which represent racial barriers and opportunities being wrecked because of racial segregation. In brief, Langston Hughes presents boundaries created by society. Racism and prejudice are represented through brilliant symbolism.
In the story, imagery is used to create a deeper story. For instance, at one point Sargeant grabs the stone pillar of the church and it finally all falls down. The crucifix and the Christ follow also and everything is now on the snow. Then, Sargeant gets out from under the church and Jesus separates from the crucifix. Just like the Christ, Sargeant feels now free from his burden. When he walks in the street after he gets up from under the church, he throws away the stone pillar that was on his shoulder. It is similar to Jesus being released from the crucifix. It represents that Sargeant is now free from the oppression of the whites on him. Also, when the church falls, it creates a relation with the fact that the white supremacy is losing his power as the blacks are standing for what they want, because Sargeant always hang on to what he believes in; peace and equality...

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