Analysis Of The Poem ' Harlem ' By Langston Hughes Essay

1332 Words Jan 15th, 2015 6 Pages
The poem Harlem by Langston Hughes is a lyric poem, and the author focuses the theme on society “deferring” the dreams of African Americans due to racism. Langston Hughes uses descriptive similes throughout the poem to get his theme of racism across to his audience. In the 2nd line of the poem, Langston Hughes informs the reader that deferring a dream is similar to a raisin. This is because as grapes age, they lose their juice and begin to dry out, turning into a raisin. This is what happens to people when they are forced by society to give up on their dreams. In the following lines, Langston Hughes uses a simile to show the reader the psychological difficulties that will develop if he or she has to give up on something that he or she worked so hard for. At the end of the 2nd stanza, Langston Hughes describes how a person’s personality will change when he or she must defer his or her dream. Langston Hughes describes to the reader that someone will become either too aggressive or too passive. The reason people become aggressive is due to the fact that they are mad at society and resent it, since it resents them or they act passive because they are discouraged due to society shutting down their dreams. The last few lines of the poem describe the sensation of carrying too much emotion that can be unbearable for a person. This leads the poem into the final line that shows how the promise of someone’s dreams being withheld over so many generations can be explosive. This use of…

Related Documents