Putting Your Dream on a Shelf: Langston Hughes' "Harlem" Essay

1180 Words 5 Pages
Langston Hughes’s “Harlem”, or “Dream Deferred”, is a poem that talks about what happens when one postpones a dream. It consists of a series of similes and ends with a metaphor. The speaker’s objective is to get the reader to think about what happens to a dream that is put off, postponed; what happens when each person creates their very own shelve of dreams? The “dream” refers to a goal in life, not the dreams that one has while sleeping, but one’s deepest desires. There are many ways to understand this poem varying from person to person. Some may see this poem as talking about just dreams in general. Others may see it as African-American’s dreams.
The reason I say African American’s dreams is because the author published this poem in
…show more content…
This line helps give meaning to the poem because right away it gets the reader to think about that statement for a moment before they continue reading the poem.
The questions in this poem are all rhetorical questions because they answer themselves. The first and second stanzas uses similes: “like a raisin in the sun,” “fester like a sore,” “stink like rotten meat,” “like a syrupy sweet” and “sags like a heavy load.” The last stanza ends uses a metaphor: “does it explode.” Imagery is very important in literature because it gets the reader to visualize what they are reading, become part of it and understand it more. This poem uses imagery: “raisin in the sun,” “stink like rotten meat,” etc. The poem also uses rhyme: sun-run, meat-sweet, load-explode.
When a raisin is left out in the sun to dry it bakes, hardens and becomes impossible to eat. It losses its value and purpose and can no longer go back to its original state. The first simile in the poem says: “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun.” First of all a raisin is a dried up grape. Yet, it is still a good and nutritious thing. But when the these things happen it can never go back to what it was originally. Just like if someone is not permitted to do something they love their talent will dry up and transform into something else. Usually something negative. The sun is a very important detail here because it stresses time. We as humans measure time by the sun’s movement.
If a deferred dream doesn’t dry up

Related Documents

Big Cocks | Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season | A Sociedade Literária e a Torta de Casca de Batata Online Dublado