Dreams in Harlem by Langston Hughes

688 Words 3 Pages
"Harlem" by Langston Hughes uses similes in everyday life to make sense of what can happen to a deferred dream. There are many different possible outcomes.

Harlem has been known, prior to the twentieth century for being an African American community stricken with crime and poverty. Now it is a booming cultural and business center and they are experiencing a social and economic renaissance. The poem mentions in the first line a deferred dream (line 1). A dream that is postponed or delayed, and asks what happens to that dream. There are many things that could become of it, such as it drying up like a raisin in the sun, (lines 2 and 3) as if cramping up to be something dry of the hope and deliciousness it once had. But nevertheless it
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Such as African Americans dream of equality, it is very visible and it took time for everything to be put in place, but once actions happened towards equality the pain was eased.

The dream could stink like rotten meat (line 6) filling every crevice of its surroundings but yet being unwanted, just a reminder that something should be done about that smell. Despite efforts to get rid of the smell it still lingers. This reminds me of the color of African Americans which they are proud of, but sometimes they want to get rid of it in order to have an easier life, such as a house with a pleasant smell again.

Or in contrast to all these it could crust and sugar over,(lines 7 and 8) get better as time goes by like sweet syrup. Waiting for the right season to be harvested. The dream inside of African Americans to rise above what they always just accepted but when it came time to stand up with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the victory was sweet.
A deferred dream could sag like a heavy load (lines 9 and 10) always weighing someone down. The load can be sat down at times but has to be carried with the person as they travel along. The load is needed for the journey, the dream is needed for survival. That postponed dream of having better opportunities is heavy on the physical and mental abilities of a person.

Or does this deferred dream explode (line 11) with fierceness, bright lights, heat, and force affecting everyone it comes