Langston Hughes’ Selected Poems in Riffaterre’s Perspective


Langston Hughes’ Selected Poems in Riffaterre’s Perspective; Nova Munawaratul Riana; 120110101118; 2016; 52 Pages; English Department, Faculty of Humanities, Jember University.

This research analyzes the life of African-American in the slavery period through Langston Hughes’ three selected poems. In this research, the writer took three selected poems of Hughes which deal with the history of slavery period in 1920s. Langston Hughes explores his thought through his poems. Therefore, this research uses Michael Riffaterre’s Semiotics of Poetry theory to find out the meaning and significance of the chosen poems. According to Riffaterre, poem contains of indirection. Indirections are produced by displacing, distorting, and creating meaning. Those indirections are called ungrammaticality. In addition, Riffaterre states that there two kinds of reading poem. They are heuristic and hermeneutic reading. Heuristic reading is applied to find out the meaning in the dictionary. In heuristic reading, the writer finds the meaning, model and variants.  Hermeneutic reading is semiotic’s process in the reader’s mind. In this stage of reading, the writer finds matrix, hypogram and significance. To find the significance of the chosen poems, the writer uses some opinions and history as hypogram to portrait the life of African-American in the slavery era in 1920s.

The main goals of this research are to uncover the significance of Hughes’ poems. Therefore, there are four questions which are drawn to achieve the goal. The first is to find the meaning of Hughes’s poems in the first stage of reading, heuristic reading. The second is to find the model and variants. The third is to find the hypogram and matrix. The last is to find the significance of the chosen poems in the second stage of reading, hermeneutic reading. Qualitative method is used in this research. It means that the data and all of information are gained from some books. This research is also kind of library research since this research is done in the library. It means that this research is done in work room of the writer or in the library room where the writer gets the data and information about the research object through books or other visual equipments. There are two kinds of data collection of this research. They are The Mother to Son, Trumpet Player, and The Negro Speaks of Rivers as the main sources, and the opinions and history of slavery period 1920s as hypograms. The result of this research explores liberalism as the spirit of the era. Liberal society is one that is, or attempts to be, open society, a free and tolerant environment where the widest possible range of pursuits are allowed, consistent with equal such as opportunities to everyone. Liberalism, then, consists in the structuring of individuals interactions in society on the basis of a set of rights that require human beings to respect each other’s liberty and equality.