Analysis Of `` Harlem `` By Langston Hughes Essay

788 Words Nov 10th, 2014 4 Pages
What happens to a dream you once wanted to pursue with all your might, so passionately and eagerly, but then realize how daunting it can be, and let the dream slowly wither away, letting the remnants build over time until it collapses? It is this point that Langston Hughes illustrates in his poem “Harlem.” While this poem appears short in length to the ordinary reader’s eye, the few words written on the page in reality contain a variety of hidden meanings. One never ponders what casting aside a dream appears as, but Hughes’ choice of words illuminates just that. Throughout “Harlem”, Hughes uses diction, imagery, and a slow rhythm to convey to the reader how a dream placed to the side leads to desires that are never achieved. Within the text, Hughes uses figurative language to suggest hidden meanings behind his words and phrases. For example, Hughes uses the phrase “dry up” in his poem suggesting that we allow opportunities that will advance us in our pursuit of our dreams to escape our grasp or fade away. Likewise, Hughes says our dreams “fester like a sore”; thoughts of our dreams pester us until we achieve them, though we may lack a personal motivation to achieve them. Hughes goes on to question how our dreams could become “like a syrupy sweet”, being sluggish and gloppy like a syrup in our reality, yet delightful for us to enjoy in our minds. Our dreams developing and gathering as “a syrupy sweet”, suggests that our dreams stay stationary or unable to keep…

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