Dreams in Literature Essay examples

Dreams in Literature Essay examples

Length: 1812 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The ability to dream may be uniquely human. These dreams exist with no purpose other than achievement. In many cases, a dream, not an instinct, drives human action. Certainly, dreams are central to the human life. Since one of the main purposes of literature is to reflect on that life, some dream must be included. The achievement of the dream is completely up to the author, and what his/her thoughts are on the achievement of dreams. Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Zora Neale Hurston all use certain literary elements to craft their theme of the achievement of dreams, which is viewed and portrayed differently by each: grievously, by Williams; pessimistically, by Faulkner; and with a modicum of optimism by Hurston.
Hardly a better adjective exists than “grievous” to describe Williams’ attitude toward dreams and their achievement in his play “The Glass Menagerie.” Williams does not treat dreams violently and harshly, but sadly and poignantly, using symbolism and stage lighting. Amanda’s jonquil dress, a momentum from days long past, is one important symbol. The revival of the dress, a remnant of Amanda’s courting days, shows the extent to which her dream of living through Laura pervades her life. The use of the “girlish” dress makes it seem as though Jim is visiting Amanda, rather than Laura, returning Amanda to her happiest days (Williams 53). The clearest and most important symbol is Laura’s glass unicorn. It represents her; its changes mirror hers. She only places the unicorn out in the open when Jim arrives, and, not completely intentionally, opens herself to him. As Laura shares her first dance with Jim, the unicorn falls, and its horn, the only thing distinguishing and separating it from the other horses, breaks off...


... middle of paper ...


...shback, Hurston notes that one can help others with their dreams, and still accomplish one’s own, so long as the dreams of others do not become permanent priorities.
People’s thoughts on dreams vary, and so dreams are shown in differing ways throughout literature. All three authors agree that the attainment of a dream is not guaranteed; it requires some work. From there, they use different techniques to refine their opinions. In their respective novels, Hurston offers some hope for the dreamer in humanity, while Faulkner scoffs and tells them what to do, and Williams urges them to give up while there’s still time to avoid heartache. Differing opinions such as these are found through a span of literature, and they offer comprehensive readers food for thought, and a chance to think about and form their own opinions, in this case, about the attainability of dreams.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Literature Review on Dreams: Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis Essays

- Literature Review on Dreams: Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis Freud initiated a therapy called psychoanalysis towards helping patients overcome mental problems, using an in depth analyze of a patient’s dream. Freudian psychoanalysis assumes that dreams fulfill a certain function. Freud considers dreams as a mental activity also experienced by our ancestors. The mind begins to disconnect from the external world during sleep but remains in an instinctual state. The mind protects the sleeper from disturbances by manufacturing dreams that satisfy unconscious desires (Freud, 1900: §V, C, p.234)....   [tags: freud, mental problems]

Strong Essays
1661 words (4.7 pages)

Dreams in Literature: Lee, Hughes, Essay

- Not every dream comes true but without having dreams you have nothing to strive for because one will never know when they might get what they wish for one day. This is just like how Walter gave up his dream for his family's dream of the house because sometimes to get your dream you need someones help. Dreams are the key to driving peoples actions and having a purpose in life as shown through the characters of Scout and Jem in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, by Walter in A Raisin in the sun by Lorraine Hansberry, In Harlem by Langston Hughes, and by Mama in A Raisin in the Sun....   [tags: character analysis, Scout and Jem]

Strong Essays
703 words (2 pages)

Dreams versus Reality in Literature Essay

- DREAMS VERSUS REALITY 2 People have this idea of what they are going to do when they grow up. Everyone has an image of what they’ll be doing. When I was in third grade, I had a classic fairytale of becoming an astronaut. That is all I ever talked about. Everyone’s dreams shift and change throughout their lives. Everyone has a different version of "the life", whether it is to have a big house, their dream, job and a successful family; or living on a farm with rabbits, a large vegetable garden, and acres of land....   [tags: Steinbeck, F. Scott Firzgerald]

Strong Essays
1505 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Dreams Are Powerful Things in Literature Works

- “What happens to a dream deferred?” This provocative question is posed by Langston Hughes in his poem, A Dream Deferred. The preceding quote was the basis for the profound play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry. In the play, there are many themes, all of which are important. However, none is so essential, and often as passed over, as dreams. Especially during the era in which the piece was written, for a black man to pursue a dream was signing his name to hardship and ridicule....   [tags: informative essay]

Strong Essays
1467 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about The Wrapped Golf Ball: A Marxist Literary Criticism

- The philosopher Karl Marx once said, “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness” (Marx). Marx argues that social circumstances determine one’s value and belief. Therefore, in his short story “Winter Dreams”, F. Scott Fitzgerald supports this Marxist theory by exposing that the proletariat is oppressed by the bourgeoisie’s ideology that the goal of life lies in status and material success, wrongly leading the middle-class to pursue inappropriate goals and ultimately to lose personal identity as developed through vivid imagery, starting with depicting a proletarian’s dream, followed by his succes...   [tags: Literature, Winter Dreams]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Steinbeck's Paradox and Dreams Essay

- The structure of the american paradox is complex. The dreams set through decades upon decades of generations have consumed the americans way of living. this paradox and dream is what we have come to not just base our entire lives around but build are morals, standards, and expectations for overall existence. “Paradox and Dream “ isn't like Steinbecks normal pieces of literature. Steinbeck's “Paradox and Dreams” is a sarcastic and criticism filled outlook on the self made paradox created by americans and based on their way of living....   [tags: American Paradox and Dreams]

Free Essays
1178 words (3.4 pages)

Shattered Dreams Essay

- In a society, everyone has dreams and hopes for their future, but they may not always come true. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is an insightful story that embodies an important message about human desires. Dreams and hopes will be shattered in the face of reality. The relationships between the two main characters, George and Lennie, as well as the character of Curley’s wife’s, support this them. The message can also be seen through the use of setting and symbols in the text. George and Lennie, like any other migrant workers in the time of this novel, had created their own American dream....   [tags: Literature Review]

Strong Essays
685 words (2 pages)

Dreams of Freedom Essay

- Many say that the citizens make up the personality of a country and the United States had a distinct group of citizens that made up its personality. United States was one of the few colonies that didn't want status quo and saw to overturn that power. Along with that daring action however, one begin to ask if she was now the stranger in the body of politics. In comparing the film Purple Rose of Cairo and Billy Budd by Herman Melville one can have a concrete reality view of how it was to have a daring dream and how that dream ended up to be in the body of politics....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Free Essays
865 words (2.5 pages)

Having Dreams and Dealing with Reality Essay examples

- Everybody has dreams, and everybody must deal with reality – that is the nature of life. A dream can be defined as something imagined, an ambition or an ideal, and reality is the term assigned to all things real. Humans, by our very nature, are ambitious, ever pursuing our dreams, our deepest desires. It is the very purpose of life to make our goals our aspirations, real. Therefore it is the nature of life to live through reality and to dream. It is fitting, then, that many texts have been composed based on ‘Dreams and Reality’....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
1408 words (4 pages)

Dreams in Death of a Salesman. Essay

- Dreams in Death of a Salesman. In this essay I’m going to consider Arthur Miller’s perception of dreams, particularly the American Dream. Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" is a detailed review on the capitalist American society of the 1940s and also on human psychology and how much materialistic success means to us. He uses the misfortunes of a salesman named Willy Loman to illustrate this. Miller introduces the Loman family in a depressing mood (dim lighting is used and shows a house that has "towering, angular shapes" surrounding it and with little furniture)....   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
1397 words (4 pages)