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Analysis Of Harlem By Langston Hughes

618 words - 2 pages

Analysis 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 stating that dreaming can be good or bad. A raisin is a grape that has been dehydrated by the sun. Hughes is conveying that dreams can suck the life out of a person, mentally dehydrating them. However a raisin is not necessarily bad. When the grape is dehydrated by the sun it turns the grape into a raisin, a sweet and delightful friut which can furnish life when eaten. A dream can be just like a raisin. A person may feed off the idea of the dream in order to strive and strive to achieve the dream. 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...

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