Langston Hughes poems show his skill of proses, but he also uses them as a vehicle to get his message out. Some of his poems are more direct in the point they want to convince the audience while others are vaguer. In his poem Over There, / World War II, Hughes uses thinly veiled questions and similes to question Americans on if they will treat African Americans as equals after they return from the war. African Americans were subjected to Jim Crow laws and voter suppression despite fighting and dying for their country. He acknowledges how ridiculous this seems because he is basically fighting to be a second-class citizen.
I found this poem particularly moving because fighting in the military is one of the highest honors and people continuously try to recognize these people by calling them heroes or giving them discounts at store. Moreover, this poem is in response to African Americans not getting to receive the benefits outlined in the GI Joe bill that gave people that fought in the war a right to a free education and to affordable housing. This supplies context to the piece and allows readers to understand where Langston Hughes frustration was coming from and what he was trying to achieve: getting African American soldiers be included in the GI Joe act.