COM 1102 UDC Harlem by Langston Hughes Analytical Review YOU HAVE COMPLETED A VISUAL AID IN WHICH YOU EXPLICATED/ANALYZED ON POEM.WRITE AN ESSAY TWO USING THE INFORMATION YOU PROVIDED IN THE VISUAL AID.THE ESSAY SHOULD BE BETWEEN 1000 – 1200 WORDS.1000 – 1200 WORD ESSAY – ANALYSIS/ EXPLICATION OF POEM THAT YOU PRESENTED IN THE VISUAL AID. look at file down POET FROM THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE
:“HARLEM” BY LANGSTON HUGHES
Dr. JoAnn Parla
SIGNIFICANT ELEMENTS IN THE
Ø‘Harlem’ is Langston Hughes popular piece written in 1951
ØIt talks about the restrictions of the American Dream for the Africans Americans
ØIt was written at a time when many blacks felt restrained in their ability to achieve the
ØThe verse consists of four stanzas and 11 short lines.
ØThe title ‘Harlem’, posits that the short verse portrays the collective experience of the
African Americans (Alonso 61).
ØThe poem centers on racism on the blacks and its main theme is dreams and ambitions.
ØHughes knew the challenges he had gone through in the US as an African American and
the tone of the poem tends to mirror the intricate situations
SIGNIFICANT ELEMENTS IN THE
ØThe whole poem is developed on a rhetoric structure. The poet is black and
represented the people who were given dreams and hopes of equity and equality.
The speaker has used various literary elements in the poem including;
üMetaphor; ‘Or does it explode’ (Hughes 12)
The speaker is comparing the deferred dreams to a bomb. The impetus of the dream
could persist building up, have no place to go and ultimately blast. Also, the rage of the
person drinking could result into the dream exploding into action.
ü Simile; “Sink like rotten meat”, “Sags like a heavy load”
The speaker is comparing the delayed dream to various things including
‘’rotten meat’ and a ‘heavy load’. The activities connected to these aspects imply
what could occur to a dream deferred. It could die, rot or even weigh down the
conscience of the people. The simile , ‘Or does it fester like a sore and then run?’
presents an element of infection and pain, the speaker compares the dream to a
• There are lots of ironical situations in the poem. The deferred dream is the anguish for
the African Americans (Hughes, 17).
• The speaker is not addressing the real ‘ a raisin in the sun’ but is addressing the black
man who has waited for ever , hoped and dreamt till he comes up and talks about the
mistreatment by the Americans.
The similes as well as the metaphors are symbols of what can occur in a community that
defers dreams of equity. ‘If it dries up like a raisin in the sun’, then it suggests that the
passing of time has deferred it and also its life or the motivation in which it is contained
is lost. If it is ‘rotting like meat’, it suggests that the African Americans have been
embittered by hate and resentment. If the ‘dream explodes’, then the blacks have decided
to fight for and attain the dream through cruel means (Hughes 19).
ØGenerally, the poem analyzes
the impacts of permitting the dream to go
ØThe tittle of the poem posits that the dream is being kept from the African
ØThe dream involves social equity and civil rights. The speaker has used several
literary elements to establish a vivid image suggesting what could happen
whenever a dream is deferred. It is a short and completive poem with a distressing
tone and a gloom emphasized end.
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