Analysis Of The Poem ' Harlem ' By Langston Hughes

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In the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, Hughes discusses the fate of the American dream and more specifically, he questions us about the destiny of the dream that never gets realized. He wonders whether it explodes violently or if it just dries up. Forty years later, Tony Kushner explored the fate of the suppressed, exploding dream in “Angels in America” through the character of Joseph Porter Pitt as he struggles to cope with his own repressed, but surfacing homosexuality, while also balancing societal and religious perspectives that restrain his true dreams. Furthermore, Joseph’s true self has been repressed deep into his mind and covered with conservative opinions, a fraudulent marriage, and religious manipulation. All of which, are…show more content…
Joseph’s conservative shield serves as a layer of ignorance that blocks out the community in which he truly belongs to, which is the homosexual community. His non-existent acknowledgement of the struggle, fear and pain that the homosexual community was going through at the time is a reinforcement of a falsified dream that Joseph has. Virtually, his cluelessness of the AIDS epidemic means that he doesn’t see himself at risk, he see’s himself as pardoned from the tragedy as most straight men did during that time. Additionally, the epidemic brought the homosexual community together, and empowered them. Joseph, who I’m sure has heard of the epidemic before the play even begins, doesn’t feel a sense of connection to that community at all nor does he show any signs of empathy. He is left out of the coming together of the homosexual community and doesn’t care because of his denial.Moreover, Joseph ignores that homosexuals exist and although he does not completely deny the fact that he is gay in the play, he essentially ignores the reality of himself as a gay man.
Also, Joseph’s language with Harper is mostly centered around change, even though he has a misperception about the world’s current status, he is focused on making a change to his life. He wants to move at the beginning, but only if Harper agrees to go with him. Joseph
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