Harlem, An Analysis of a Langston Hughes Poem Essay
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Harlem, An Analysis of a Langston Hughes Poem
The short but inspirational poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes addresses what happens to aspirations that are postponed or lost. The brief, mind provoking questions posed throughout the poem allow the readers to reflect--on the effects of delaying our dreams. In addition, the questions give indications about Hughes' views on deferred dreams.
"Harlem" is an open form poem. The poem consists of three stanzas that do not have a regular meter. To catch the reader's attention, the writer made sure that specific words and questions stood out. As a result, the lengths of the lines vary and certain syllables are stressed in every line. The first line in the poem: is the longest…show more content…
The last line, "Or does it explode?" (11) is an example of a metaphor. The writer implies that a postponed dream--destroys, causes a violent or even disturbing emotional reaction.
Langston Hughes was a successful African-American poet of the Harlem renaissance in the 20th century. Hughes' had a simple and cultured writing style. "Harlem" is filled with rhythm, jazz, blues, imagery, and evokes vivid images within the mind. The poem focuses on what could happen to deferred dreams. Hughes' aim is to make it clear that if you postpone your dreams you might not get another chance to attain it--so take those dreams and run. Each question associates with negative effects of deferred dreams. The imagery from the poem causes the reader to be pulled in by the writer's words.
The speaker opens the poem by questioning, "What happens to a dream deferred?" (1). This single line instantly gives the reader an idea of what the poem is about. The first question produces curiosity in the reader--makes the reader want to find the answer to the question.
"Does it dry up/like a raisin in the sun?" (2-3). suggest that a postponed dream will eventually be forgotten or fizzled out. The image of a raisin stimulates the reader's sight and taste senses. The dream is like a sweet grape which is fresh and new. If you set that grape aside (in hopes of coming back to it later) it most likely will be bitter, dried out, kaput, and
Show MoreAnalysis of Harlem by Langston Hughes
Through the turbulent decades of the 1920's through the 1960's many of the black Americans went through difficult hardships and found comfort only in dreaming. Those especially who lived in the ghettos' of Harlem would dream about a better place for them, their families, and their futures. Langston Hughes discusses dreams and what they could do in one of his poems, "Harlem." Hughes poem begins: "What happens to a dream deferred..."
Hughes is asking what happens to a dream that is being put off. What do these dreams do, do they do good, do they do bad, or do they do neither good nor bad? He continues by stating this simile:"Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?" Using this simile he is…show more content…
Hughes continues his poem by stating more on dreams that have been put off in lines four and five, he states:
"Or fester like a sore and then run?"
Here , Hughes uses a sore as a simile for dreams that have been put off. He wonders if these delayed dreams get worser and worser over time that they just disapear from the person. Hughes continues his questioning by using another simile for postponed dreams, " Does it stink like rotten meat?" Hughes is trying to convey that over a period of time a person may become so tired of the dream that they have postponed that it would actually start to stink, they would start to hate it, and want to get rid of it just as if someone would want to get rid of a piece of rotten meat. He continues by using another simile for postponed dreams: "Or crust and sugar like a syrupy sweet?"
Here, Langston Hughes states of a dream that could be so good and so sweet, but over time the dream has gotten old and bad just like a syrupy sweet could crust and sugar over time. Hughes advances with another simile for defered dreams: "Maybe it just sags like a heavy load" Here, Hughes states of a dream that is so huge and farfetched that it could never happen. He ends his poem by saying, "Or does it expolode?"
Langston Hughes relays that deferred dreams can do many things, though they mostly do worse than help you. He is tryng to convey that you really should not postpone your dreams don't set