Dream Boogie Poem Analysis

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Langston Hughes’ poem, “Dream Boogie” dramatizes the double consciousness of an African-American. It shows that even during a time of happiness, such as the Harlem Renaissance, an African-American still experiences pain and despair due to the negative impact of race relations. The poem also depicts the limitations that include the inability to succeed one’s dream and the disappointment of not reaching equality. There are two speakers in the poem. The main speaker is well aware of his positon in life as an African American. He tries to get the listener to understand the reality of being an African-American, but the listener struggles to understand the oppression that African-Americans face.
The main speaker begins the poem by saying, “Good
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The second speaker who was also the listener interrupts and questions the main speaker about their thoughts on whether or not the beat is a happy beat. The listener may perceives jazz as literal happiness. These two lines stand alone to possibly stress that happiness is not the outcome of their current situation. The next stanza is critical to the meaning of the poem. In this stanza there is repetition. The main speaker again tells the listener to listen closely because the listener does not seem to understand the depth behind jazz and African Americans. This time the understanding speaker states “Listen to it closely:” The addition of the word “it” is emphasized to imply to the listener that they must listen to the beat thoroughly in order to truly understand that the sound is not a beat of happiness. The repetition continues and reflects stanza one. Lines 11-13 state, “Ain’t you heard something underneath like a -” The lines continue to characterize African Americans by using the southern accent. The speaker continues to stress the reality of an African-American in relation to a dream deferred to the listener. He implies that there is something deeper beneath the sound of those beats. Line 13 exemplifies another incomplete sentence. If one looks at the structure of stanza one and four together, it seems as if the words “dream deferred” should complete the sentence on line 13. The speaker maybe tried to complete the sentence and was interrupted again by the
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