Study Guide

Vintage Hughes - Where? When? Which? Summary & Analysis

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Where? When? Which? Summary

The poem describes a night horse ride in winter. The horseman is tethered by something worse than pride, and his ride shares something with apartheid.

Where? When? Which? Analysis

This poem has been called by one critic a neglected masterpiece, and the poem is certainly among Hughes most visually and symbolically complex pieces. The night ride is the ride of a Ku Klux Klan member, and the subtlety of the representation lends the poem a particularly overpowering sense of darkness and foreboding when the reader comes to understand what is being described. The merciless ride of the racist who is tethered by something worse than pride (unspeakable hatred) is likened to the violence of apartheid in South Africa. Who, Hughes asks, will reclaim the human conscience when the KKK rides again?

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This section contains 136 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Vintage Hughes Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Vintage Hughes from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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