Harlem: A Dream Deferred Should we ever delay the inevitable? Postponing one's dreams does not make them less desirable; but the opposite, it causes damage and ruin. Slaves had been free for just about 90 years and still were not being treated equally when the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes was written. He uses imagery, figurative language, and symbols to show what happens to a community when a vision or hope for it, is pushed aside. It is often said that symbols in the text of a writing can convey tone and meaning. First of all, the title Harlem, is a symbol in itself. This places the poem in a specific location. In this case, Harlem, a historically black neighborhood in New York City. This title evokes the racial injustice that the citizens …show more content…
From the text, he uses the image of a “festering sore” to express the consequences of deferred dreams (Hughes, 4). This paints a grotesque picture for readers and shows the disgust that Hughes feels. On top of that, he uses the image of rotten meat, indicating a piece of meat left to rot, getting worse and worse. Furthermore, he states that it will “crust and sugar over,” and people will become used to living in a separate society and it will become normalized (Hughes, 7). He then proceeds to give his own pov and says, “Maybe it just sags, like a heavy load,” and this shows that he feels the weight of the many years he and his ancestors would wait for others to see them as equal (Hughes, 9-10). He uses the power of imagery in determining if deferred dreams sag like heavy loads. That can put an image out of an individual being exhausted and carrying a burden all alone, which is unfair. The dream of inequality weighs on communities like Harlem, dragging them down rather than lifting them up. In the last sentence, he implies that only one person can carry such a weight for so long and years after tolerating this type of behavior can lead one to explode or become overly angry. The word usage is a symbol of something like a firework, that can’t be bottled up …show more content…
This poem contains a series of five similes to describe what might happen to a dream or vision that is constantly pushed off to the side. There is also anaphora used that provides a recognizable structure and pattern (Does it, like, or, does it, or, like). In addition, a metaphor is used to compare a deferred dream to something blowing up, which suggests violence and/or self-harm, alliteration creates rhythm and emphasizes the words, drawing attention to the details in them (repetition of the sound “d”), the last line uses hyperbole which exaggerated the severity of the potential consequences of denying the dream of social equality. Taking everything into account, the figurative language creates an empowering image of what can happen when a wish or dream is left
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1 TASK One Outline: Analyzing Figurative LanguageIntroductionDreams, Langston Hughes the theme is about holding on to dreams, and the tone of the poem is gloomy. The author used two forms of figurative language which is a metaphor and personification to convey the themeBody Paragraph 1The author used a metaphor to prove that you should hold onto dreams before they’re gone. “Life is a broken winged bird, that cannot fly.” The author meant that without dreams life isn’t worth living. Its like life loses it purpose, like how a bird with a broken loses its purpose to fly.
It causes the reader to think about how if a dream for a better life is pushed aside, it will eventually become old and be forgotten. The author then includes this line "Or fester like a sore-" (4), which is used to make the reader visualize a wound that has gone
The poem vividly presents the delayed dreams of African Americans, who are left to endure poverty and despair. The lines “What happens to a dream deferred?/ does it dry up/like a raisin in the sun?” (Hughes) evoke feelings of Hopelessness and frustration. The dreams of marginalized individuals are crushed by a society that shows indifference to their struggles, resulting in moral corruption as the oppressed turn to desperate measures. The poem suggests that a society that neglects And fails to fulfill the dreams of its citizens will ultimately succumb to moral decay and social
The author states, "Harlem was fast becoming the cultural center of black America" (Leach 15). The statement serves as evidence of the early influence Harlem had on Hughes, shaping not just his identity but also his literary style. The author suggests that Harlem represented a strong cultural pride and aspiration for African Americans, and Hughes was no exception. His longing for Harlem echoes through his poems, like "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," where he connects his personal experiences to the broader black experience, hence, elevating Harlem's symbolism in his work. Furthermore, Hughes' struggle with Columbia University’s discriminatory practices and his father’s unending financial criticism are highlighted.
This piece of figurative language has a big impact on the text because it is pretty much saying that the moments that happened in the camp made him lose that connection with his god, soul and made him feel like his dreams were never going to happen cause he was just sitting in that camp doing labor for several months. This affects the reader cause this shows more of how the camp really
Can you believe that the Harlem renaissance happened in the 1920s and ended in the 1930s? Through those years colored people weren't able to express themselves or their culture. The poem, ¨We Wear The Masks¨ written by Paul Laurence Dunbar is about how black people or any colored people wear a mask to hide their identity from other people. Then the poem, "Mother to Son¨ is written by Langston Hughes, is about how life can get hard but to never give up no matter how hard it gets. Also the poem, ¨Craciple of Champions¨ by Nikki Grimes was about the community and she used her method the golden shovel.
Poetry Album Analysis over the “Harlem Renaissance” The Harlem Renaissance was an impactful cultural movement that took place in the 1920s and 1930s in Harlem, New York. It was a time of artistic, literary, and intellectual growth for African Americans, who had been oppressed for centuries. This poetry album about the Harlem Renaissance is an excellent testament to the creativity and passion of the poets who contributed to this cultural movement. Through a deep analysis of the themes and motifs present in the album, we can gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of this period in history.
The overall theme of the poem is sacrifice, more specifically, for the people that you love. Throughout the poem color and personification are used to paint a picture in the reader's head. “Fog hanging like old Coats between the trees.” (46) This description is used to create a monochromatic, gloomy, and dismal environment where the poem takes
The Harlem Renaissance was a “outpouring of writing, music, and social criticism” (Baker, 1987) aimed at destroying the ever-present racism of the 1920s. Langston Hughes, an artist of the Harlem Renaissance, was a big contributor to change, inspiring those of his own time and later on to stand up for African American rights. Penning the 1926 manifesto The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, Hughes encapsulated the thoughts of Harlem, and urged African Americans to be proud of their own culture, “without fear or shame” (Hughes in Bernard, 2011).
Similarly, Hughes uses grotesque imagery to emphasize the decay of a forgotten idea. However, said forgotten idea can be interpreted as more than a concept when the time period is taken into account. Through analysis, it’s possible to construe Hughes’s dream as a person or society. In the line “Or fester like a sore-- And then run?” (Hughes 4), imagery is used to conjure the picture of a blister on human skin.
Both pieces of writing use literary devices to in a hyperbolic manner to set a theme. The central theme of “Harlem“ is to express dreams by relating them to inanimate that through a physical change with the increase of a time duration. Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar cover-like a syrupy sweet?”Referring to dreams and hopes.
The poem’s title refers to the way people feel when their dreams are put their dreams to the side. When you think “What happens to a dream deferred?” It provokes a feeling of gloominess. The words “What happens,” makes the reader think in general what comes as a result from it.
Langston Hughes once wrote, “In all my life I have never been free…except in the field of my writing” (qtd. in NPR). The early twentieth century marked an era in which blatant racism and discrimination limited the freedom and lives available for African Americans. The Harlem Renaissance gave way to a period that allowed influential blacks such as Langston Hughes to express themselves through the outlets of literature, music, art, and poetry. The fostering of creative expression finally gave voice to the struggles that the black diaspora has faced for centuries—a movement that unified a marginalized group to combat prejudicial injustices. Langston Hughes explores the theme of African American unity throughout the poems “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,”
The poem “Harlem” seems like a simple poem that talks about a dream that fades away. The poem is more symbolic than it seems though. The three sentences that have a huge impact on this poem’s symbolism are spread out through the poem. A reader needs to keep in mind that the speaker is talking about a dream in these sentences. “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?”
In the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, several similes are used to portray the reality of dreams. Hughes employs effective metaphors, inviting us to visualize a dream and what may happen to it after it passes from conscious thought. Could a dream dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or even fester like a sore? (Hughes, 1951, p. 631).