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Analysis Of Harlem (A Dream Deferred) And A Raisin In The Sun

1210 words - 5 pages

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.
The first character we meet is Ruth Younger. Ruth is a hardworking mother who has had a thought life up until this point. The Writer opens up describing her by saying that “she was a pretty girl, even exceptionally so, but now it is apparent that life has been little that she expected, and disappointment has already begun to hang in her face.” (Pg. 1472) This description bears a strong resemblance to the line in Harlem, “Does it dry up, like a raison in the sun?” (Line 2) We immediately are thrown into the madness of her life. She wants desperately to have a happy family and is in constant disagreement with her husband’s ideas. We see how her living arrangements have made her believe that there will never be anything better in this world for her. The saddest part is that she believes that bringing another child into this sad existence is something she cannot do. When she makes the decision to visit the abortion doctor, it immediately brought me to the final line in the poem where Hughes states “Or does it explode?” (Line 11) There had to be an explosion of desperation for a woman at this time in history to even consider crossing the line of abortion. Her disdain of her living conditions is evident we she speaks to mama and describes their apartment as being a “Rat Trap.” (Pg. 1483) It is evident that until the end of the play, we only see sadness in her character and the air of all of her broken dreams.
The next character of Walter Lee Younger (Brother) is a man bound and determined to make money the fastest way possible. This is a man who values money above all else and ties his own self worth to how much money he has in his bank account. I believe the sentence “Does it stink like rotten meat?” (Line 6) can be best used to describe all of the dreams brother has. We see how he is at odds with his wife when she doesn’t want to join him in his most recent scheme that involves investing in a liquor store. He tells her quite blandly that she could care less about his dreams. “Man say to his woman: I got me a dream. His woman say: Eat your eggs.” (Pg. 1477) It is in this monologue that we can see that Walter has contempt for his wife and mother for not allowing him to follow his dreams to become a wealthy man. Hughes states “Or fester like a sore – And then run?” (Line 4) I believe...

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