The Themes Of Racism In Hughes's Poem By Langston Hughes

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The poem “Harlem” is one of Langston Hughes famous poem which was written in the twentieth century, an era in which the system known as slavery had recently been abolished. Even though the slavery system was abolished African Americans were saddled with its legacy, which essentially rendered them second-class citizens because the ideas of racial discrimination and racial segregation were still very popular in most societies. Because of the feelings of racial discrimination opportunities to achieve dreams were only attainable by white Americans while the African American had to either give up or put off on fulfilling their aspirations. Hughes wrote his poem “Harlem” titled after a predominantly African American community based on what he observed…show more content…
This inconsistency in the poem is portrayal of the ups and downs faced by the African Americans in this time period and is used to relay the sense of frustration, hopelessness, anger, melancholy, resignation and consequences of “a dream deferred” that is felt by the African Americans. The whole poem (Harlem) is built in the structure of rhetoric. The speaker of the poem is black poet. Black people were given the dreams of equity and equality. But these dreams never came true. Black people could never experience the indiscriminate society. In other worlds, their dream never came true. Blacks are promised dreams of equality, justice, freedom, indiscrimination, but not fulfilled. They are delayed, deferred and postponed. The literary device simile is used to create a comparison between different putrefaction process and the deferring of dreams to illustrate the theme of limitations of dreams. Hughes implementation of simile and rhetorical questions is used to create…show more content…
He imagines it drying up, festering, stinking, crusting over, or, finally, exploding. All of these images, while not outright heated, have a slightly dark sense to them. Each image is powerful enough to make readers smell (olfactory imagery), feel (tactile imagery), and taste (gastronomy imagery) these postponed dreams. ”. Hughes begins his poem with a question. “What happens to a dream deferred?” (Line 1) According to Langston Hughes, a deferred dream does not simply disappear; rather, it goes through an advancement, becoming a corporeal state of decomposition. The poet does not convey an explicit dream. Rather, he (or she) proposes that as long as African Americans lives in an oppressive society they will not achieve their aspirations. Even if they dare to aspire – they will have to continuously postpone it until it starts to “fester” for so long that they end up “rotting” or even “exploding. Lines 2-3 “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” gives the readers concise and clear imagery of what he feels is the consequence of postponing his aspirations. He then asks whether a dream deferred would “fester like a sore- and then run” (lines 3-4). This second rhetorical question
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