Analysis of Harlem by Langston Hughes

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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
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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 trying to convey that over a period of time a person may become so tired of the dream that they have postponed that it would actually start to stink, they would start to hate it, and want to get rid of it just as if someone would want to get rid of a piece of rotten meat. He continues by using another simile for postponed dreams: "Or crust and sugar like a syrupy sweet?"

Here, Langston Hughes states of a dream that could be so good and so sweet, but over time the dream has gotten old and bad just like a syrupy sweet could crust and sugar over time. Hughes advances with another simile for defered dreams: "Maybe it just sags like a heavy load" Here, Hughes states of a dream that is so huge and farfetched that it could never happen. He ends his poem by saying, "Or does it expolode?"

Langston Hughes relays that deferred dreams can do many things, though they mostly do worse than help you. He is tryng to convey that you really should not postpone your dreams don't set