Analysis Of The Poem ' Harlem ' By Langston Hughes Essay

1022 Words Nov 9th, 2015 5 Pages
Black Renaissance
In the year 1951, the critically acclaimed Langston Hughes wrote a poem that had more questions than answers for the African American population of the post WW2 period. Without hesitation Langston Hughes opens the poem with a question that automatically gets the reader pondering the thought of what a dream does if it is postponed till the future. Throughout the poem the author poses questions to the reader about the dream that is deferred. All possibilities are on the table in this eleven line poem that questions the negative or positive effects of the ambitious dream of the African American community. Langston Hughes, author of “Harlem”, puts into practice the use of similes and imagery to deliberate about what the African American culture’s dreams might do in the era of oppression in the 1950’s.
The use of similes the poet uses in response to the downfall of the New York neighborhood, Harlem gives the audience examples of the possibilities the African American society might face. No surprise that the great Langston Hughes has written a piece of poetry in the face of oppression. The poet’s first response to the question is with another question in lines 2-3, “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” The poet compares the dream and the raisin to point out that the dream can shrink from something vast to a minor unrecognizable thought in the back of your mind over time. His next answer is in line 4, “Or fester like a sore…”. When a sore has not been…

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