Harlem Langston Hughes Analysis

Decent Essays
In the poem “Harlem”, author Langston Hughes, utilizes literary devices, such as, the overall structure of the poem, and similes, that contain imagery, and particular word choices to represent the main message. The principle message of poem is that the delaying of dreams can lead to disastrous results. To begin, The free verse, and meter make up the structure of the poem. The poem consists of six questions, and very timid, declarative statement. The poem is able to grow based on the first line, “What happens to a dream deferred?” (1). The poem being structured with several questions, is used to make the reader think of uncertainty, and the quest for knowledge. The reader is left perplexed because the first question of the poem is intentionally …show more content…
The inconsistency of the poem is to get the reader to feel frustrated. The inconsistency shows that dreams that held off lead to frustration. Next, to explore what happens when dreams are put on hold, the speaker uses a series of similes. An example of this is when the reader asks themselves about held off dreams, “Does it stink like rotten meat?”. (6). This comparison of held off dreams to meat, also contains sensory imagery that helps the reader visualize the smell, look,and taste of the meat.The poem also contains similes compare the act of deferring dreams to that of raisins drying in the sun, meat rotting, sugary syrup crusting over, and heavy loads sagging. This imagery shows everyday, ordinary tasks, and implies that the speaker is arguing that dreams are as important and as necessary as eating, cooking, cleaning, or carrying something. In addition, the speaker is comparing the imagery is a representation of what are everyday environments consist of. These question imply that our important everyday tasks, can lead us to loosing sight of our dreams. Overall, these sensory details vividly describe what the negatives of holding off dreams. Finally, the use of the word “explode” in the last line of the poem suggests the outcomes of delaying

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