What is a dream? One might say it is a thought or feeling that people experience when they are asleep. Though this is true, a dream is also a wish someone hopes to accomplish. The real question is what happens if dreams are not pursued? In the poem, Harlem by Langston Hughes, the speaker is indirectly discussing what occurs when a dream is ignored. First off, when analyzing the title of the poem, the reader can make a quick connection as to what the poem is about. Many people are familiar with Harlem the place in New York where African-American culture became very popular between World War I and the 1930s. Harlem then and today is heavily populated with African Americans and it is easy to associate the poem with the black community. The first line of the poem opens with,"What happens to a dream deferred?" This line sets the stage for the poem by putting the reader on the spot.The reader can assume this dream being deferred is equality for all races. This assumption is based on the title as well as the time period Langston Hughes wrote the poem. Langston Hughes wrote Harlem in the early 1950s, a time before the civil rights movement, when African Americans were segregated and not treated equally. The …show more content…
The first is the literal way. When we think of raisins in the sun we think of a raisin starting out as a grape and losing its juice. The raisin is not as succulent as the grape and when in the sun it becomes parched. This can be associated with the feelings of the African-Americans. With the inequality, the black community felt as if their rights were being sucked out of them causing them to feel hopeless and demotivated. The second way to think of this line is in a literary way. The play, "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry captured the deferred dreams of a black family living in Chicago during the
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“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” This quote from Walt Disney addressing the concept of achieving dreams is very accurate, and can be seen throughout literature today and in the past. Dreams can give people power or take away hope, and influence how people live their lives based upon whether they have the determination to attack their dreams or not; as seen through characters like the speaker in Harlem by Langston Hughes and Lena and Walter Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in The Sun.
Possibly the same dream that the speaker is talking about in the poem, “Harlem” perhaps the American Dream that was limited to blacks by whites in that time period. Even though the speaker does not specify the dream it stands to reason that blacks at the time were not able to dream, or aspire to do anything without being met by opposition from the whites. “What happens to a dream deferred?” (1). Even though the speaker does not answer the question it is quite obvious that the dream does not simply die or go away right away. Just like blacks they did not give up and simply go away because of the oppression that they faced from the whites. Throughout the entire poem the dream is undergoing an evolution and slowly decaying to the point of exploding. The same evolution that blacks have unrgone by the whites. The frustration of festering dreams of wanting to be more but were constantly road blocked by white
Langston Hughes’ poem Dream is a poem based on holding onto one’s dream. The speaker of this poem is trying to convey a message to the reader that will inspire them to hold onto what they believe in, because if they don’t, "Life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly (Hughes, 3-4)." This in other words means, life will be worthless and pointless. If you give up on everything that can help you succeed or encourage you to make it to the next day, why are you living? The tone of this poem is inspirational and hopeful. For example, by the speaker is telling us how we will feel in advance to us giving up our dreams, it encourages the reader to hold on to their dreams, hope and aspiration.
Everybody has a dream whether they are willing to admit it or not. Some have achieved their dreams, some are still working towards their dream while many have given up. When Hughes asked what happens to a dream deferred, he explored a human consciousness that forces people to abandon their dreams. It is a powerful question which commands a sense of silence after it. With each stanza he evokes powerful and negative images of abandoned dreams. The message is that abandoned dreams do not simply vanish because you are not chasing them. Instead, they go through an evolution which gets worse before exploding. Hughes became frustrated with the number of blacks in Harlem succumb to an oppressive environment. Before he became a renowned poet, novelist,
As a writer, a poet and a prominent activist of the civil rights movement, Langston Hughes was a man that was not only inspired by the world around him but used such inspiration to motivate others. Being that he was also one of the most influential writers during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes held poetry demonstrations as a way to inspire and strived to be the voice of his people and the force to help the dreams of many to move forward. The idea of whether or not to pursue a dream is addressed in one of his poems where he asks “What happens to a dream deferred?” (Langston Hughes, Dreams Deferred). The style of writing in this poem takes the use of questions as a way to have the reader really ponder about a dream that is not pursued. In a sense, Hughes is trying to paint the picture that the dreams that people do not fight for eventually fade away. He uses this as a tactic to hopefully inspire others that dreams are worth fighting for and without them, what would we live for? The underlying tie that connected all of Hughes’s work together was achieved through his devotion to the realization of a certain dream deferr...
The speaker dreams about what may happen to a deferred dream. This poem is one of Hughes most famous works. Hughes titled this poem Harlem after a New York neighborhood that was the center of the Harlem renaissance. Many African American families saw Harlem as a bright and uplifting place to be, away from the discrimination they faced in other parts of the country unforutently Harlem’s fame faded away at the beginning of the great depression in the early 1930’s.
With great dreams comes great sacrifices and the ultimate sacrifice is putting that dream on hold. There are many situations that get in the way that force individuals to step away from their dreams and take care of their personal issues. Everyone has the aspiration to fulfill their dreams, but sometimes dreams are set aside for various reason, and some people never return to continue fulfillment. In the poem Harlem, Hughes writes, “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” (Hughes). One of the many sacrifices when in search of the American Dream or any dream in general is the potential of it being put off. Like Langston Hughes says, the dream may dry up like a raisin in the sun, but in actuality the dream is never lost, the remnants are still there. It is simply set aside so when the time is right to continue on with the dream the individual can pick up where they left off. As the dream sits on hold it loses its importance, or it dries up. Putting off a dream is one of the biggest sacrifices someone could make no matter the circumstance. People are sacrificing what their lives could have potentially been. Hughes talks about all of the feelings that come with putting off a dream and describes what could potentially happen to a differed dream. Ultimately, the poem is about the sacrifice of giving up this American Dream and choosing a different
Harlem has been known, prior to the twentieth century for being an African American community stricken with crime and poverty. Now it is a booming cultural and business center and they are experiencing a social and economic renaissance. The poem mentions in the first line a deferred dream (line 1). A dream that is postponed or delayed, and asks what happens to that dream. There are many things that could become of it, such as it drying up like a raisin in the sun, (lines 2 and 3) as if cramping up to be something dry of the hope and deliciousness it once had. But nevertheless it still exists. It could also mean that the dream is perfected by sitting for a while in a person’s heart like a sun dried raisin is perfected by being in the sun.
In poetry, it is critical t bring out a theme. This makes the reader learn something and realize what the poet is attempting to say. A good theme can really impact the reader. Most poets use elements of poetry to do this. In Harlem, Langston Hughes uses elements of poetry to show his theme, which is when you give up on your dream, many consequences will arise. In the poem Harlem, Langston Hughes uses many elements of poetry to prove his theme, including similes, diction and personification.
In the poem Langston Hughes points out, for example “Tomorrow, /I’ll be on the table/ when company comes. / Nobody’ll dare Say to me, / Eat in the Kitchen”. This allows the reader to understand how the author will not let racism play a role in his life. In its place, he becomes as equal with the white man and kills the evil. He writes about how he is currently oppressed, but this does not diminish his hope and will to become the equal man. Because he speaks from the point of view of an oppressed African-American the poem’s struggles and future changes seem to be of greater importance against his constant struggles with
In Langston Hughes’ poem, the author gives us vivid examples of how dreams get lost in the weariness of everyday life. The author uses words like dry, fester, rot, and stink, to give us a picture of how something that was originally intended for good, could end up in defeat. Throughout the play, I was able to feel how each character seemed to have their dreams that fell apart as the story went on. I believe the central theme of the play has everything to do with the pain each character goes thru after losing control of the plans they had in mind. I will attempt to break down each character’s dream and how they each fell apart as the play went on.
Langston Hughes’ poem “ Harlem” the speaker gives an idea of what Harlem was in the past and what people of that community dream it to be. The poem is structured by a distinct question in the first stanza: what happens when dreams are delayed. Followed by simpler questioning thoughts in the second stanza: drying up like a raisin in the sun or smelling like rotten meat. The mood from the third stanza feels like the speaker has found their answer: sagging like a heavy load. But in the fourth stanza there is uncertainty again: does it explode? Dreams cause frustration because they give hope abut don’t always come true.
...ss, representing the truth of the times. The majority of the problems influence only the one dreamer, however, the ending suggests that, when despair is everywhere, it may "explode" and cause social and political uprising. “Harlem” brings to light the anxiety between the need for Negro expression and the opposition to that need because of society’s subjugation of its black populace. His lines confront the racist and unjust attitude common in American society before the civil rights movement of the 1960s. it expresses the belief that black wishes and dreams were irrelevant should be ignored. His closing rhetorical question—“Or does [a dream deferred] explode?”—is aggressive, a testimony that the inhibition of black dreams might result in a revolution. It places the blame for this possible revolution on the domineering society that forces the deferment of the dream.
In this story that Langston Hughes was written when he seems very frustradted with a dream where one is trying to accomplish but hard because being a African American. I can relate to as well only because I feel at times my dreams as been deferred . As a young parent I had to give up a lot to take care of son at the age of ninetten years old. I had put my dreams on hold to take care of son. Although having him was a huge blessing in my life, as Afircan America its hard to get certain postion at a job because of your
In Langston Hughes’s poem, Harlem, he questions what happens to a “dream deferred” and he lists multiple possibilities that all involve a dream going away (Hughes, Harlem). This poem seems to define Hughes’s life of not wanting to see his own dreams pass him by despite moving from place to place due to his parents’ separation and economic struggles (Otfinoski). Beyond that, Hughes faced racism that could have gotten in the way of his own goals, but instead of letting this deter him, he used it as fuel to pursue a literary career. During the 20th century, Hughes’s worldview was greatly impacted by the Civil Rights Movement and the effects of the World War I, which caused his poetry to revolve around racial discrimination against African Americans.