Ruby Brown Commentary

6 June 2016

Ruby Brown, a poem written by Langston Hughes is describing a black woman that faced both racism and sexism in her life. Like in most of his work, Langston Hughes uses motifs of color and white. Hughes characterizes Ruby in a way that allows us to see the restrictions she had in her way and her ability to mentally over come them. The visual imagery in the beginning talks about bright and golden sunshine but in actuality it was not. The characterization of Ruby shows her to be an upright respectable person but it does not matter because she is black. Her life was sad because she had so much talent but it did not get to show. This social commentary is significant because Ruby’s looks gave her advantages but even worse disadvantages.

More specifically the poem reflects how the social issues of racism and sexism can hurt the confidence of anyone.

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Hughes uses Ruby Brown to convey the theme that a hold in opportunity can greatly harm unsecure women. Irony is also used to convey how Ruby moves away from her original life in order to make sure she has security and happiness. The tone of the poem plays a big part in the readers’ thoughts of the poem itself and of Ruby.

The last stanza sets the tone in a guilty and shameful manor. This is significant because it reveals the main idea of the poem and enhances the theme. Through this poem, Langston Hughes is trying to convey to the reader that changing who you are is not good and will only lead to your downfall. In regards the time-period that it was written in, Hughes is telling the black population to stand proud of what color they are and to not give burdens that the white people had placed on them.

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