Summary Of Harlem By Langston Hughes

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In the poem, “Harlem”, by Langston Hughes, one simile after another, reveals the consequences of giving up on a dream. "Harlem" consists of eleven lines divided into four stanzas. With each line, Hughes mixes it up. What does he mix? Initially, the poem responds to a rhetorical question, “What happens to a dream deferred? The “dream deferred” is the long-postponed and, therefore, frustrated dream of African Americans: a dream of freedom, equality, dignity, opportunity, and success. The poem then concentrates on possible reactions to the deferral of a dream, ranging from the fairly mild-mannered “Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?”(Line 2-3) to the threatening “Or does it explode?”(Line 11). The first five potential responses to frustration are essentially passive, the last one is active.…show more content…
It contains very specific images that light up our imaginations. For example, in line 1, Hughes ask “What happens to a dream deferred?” Basically implying what happens to a dream that does not come true. In lines 2-3 he replies with another question “Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?” When a raisin dries up in the sun, it takes away the nutrients and life from the raisin. Richard Bizot stated drying up like a raisin in the sun “could refer to the gradual shriveling of a dream or a person, still sweet but wrinkled, desiccated.” A raisin came from a grape, but doesn’t really look like it anymore; a dream waited on is completely unrecognizable after a

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