Essay on Comparing The Poem ' Harlem ' And ' Still I Rise '

1015 Words Apr 10th, 2016 null Page
Comparing and Contrasting Elements in Poems
Langston Hughes’s, “Harlem (or A Dream Deferred)” depicts what occurs when a dream is postponed over a long period of time. Maya Angelou’s, “Still I Rise” depicts the speaker’s resistance to those who try to oppress her. Incorporating both similes and metaphors, “Harlem” and “Still I Rise” are used to portray the different reactions of the speaker towards being oppressed, and the different kinds of oppression they face.
Although both poems use similes to portray the speaker’s reaction to oppression, the speaker in the first poem faces the oppression of a dream coming true, the speaker in the second poem faces the oppression of herself. In the beginning of the poem “Harlem”, the first simile “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” makes the analogy of a dream deferred to a grape. A dream at first is so rich with life and hope, but overtime the hope dies away and shrivels up like a raisin in the sun. The dream of the speaker withers away into nothing, the life that it once held gone under oppression of the “sun”, the oppressor of the dream. Second, he then asserts that a dream deferred festers “like a sore”, agitated, irritable and susceptible to infections. The analogy depicts a postponed dream leading to exasperation, built up aggression, and susceptibility to negative influences. Third, the speaker compares a deferred dream to the scent of “rotten meat”, the stench of rotten hangs around for a while, just like the thought of…

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