Essay about Analysis Of `` Harlem `` By Langston Hughes

796 Words Mar 13th, 2015 4 Pages
Langston Hughes wrote “Harlem” as a prediction of the upcoming clash African Americans would embrace in order to gain civil liberties. The poem also serves as a rallying cry to those pondering what to do with their frustration of the way blacks were treated in America before the civil rights movement. Hughes delivers an emotional appeal to readers, urging them to wake up and see the future of a people bursting with ambition but held back by discrimination. In the poem "Harlem" Hughes uses figurative language to powerfully convey the consequences of oppression which deny black Americans the dream of equality. Hughes uses similes, anaphora, alliteration, and metaphor to help the reader visualize and empathize with the plight of African Americans struggling for civil rights. The use of similes in “Harlem” demonstrates to the reader the possible outcomes of being held back from pursuing life dreams by painting vivid pictures as examples. One scenario Hughes suggests as to how the individual may respond, is to show they will wither into themselves and become someone completely different than their original self, by stating the following question of the dream: Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? (lines 2-3)
These lines create the mental image of a piece of fruit transforming to a raisin baking in the heat, suggesting an oppressed person and their dreams morph into a different self, withdrawing from life and it 's challenges. Using a simile such as this enables the reader…

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