Langston Hughes ' Dream Deferred Essay

773 Words Apr 4th, 2016 4 Pages
Langston Hughes wrote “Dream Deferred” at a time when the rights of African Americans were severely limited in society. There were not many opportunities for people of color to advance themselves in many jobs or mediums. Throughout the poem Hughes is questioning what becomes of an individual that is not in a position to achieve their desires, or not be able to realize full potentials. In “Dream Deferred”, Langston Hughes uses similes to make the reader understand and connect with the idea that unfulfilled dreams can have dire consequences to and individual’s well being; the closing lines of the poem make it clear that in many cases this yearning can ultimately destroy a person. Langston Hughes uses five similes in “Dream Deferred” to answer the main question of the poem: What happens to a dream deferred? The first simile begins on line 2 “Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?” (506). The first answer Hughes offers in the preceding quote is that when an aspiration doesn’t get realized, it simply dries up. This implies that over time it evaporates until it is nothing, or because of the comparison to a raisin suggests withering. After all, a raisin was once a grape full of hydration and life that has been reduced to an unrecognizable version of itself. Therefore, a grape is a comparison to a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed individual that is full of hope and promise of accomplishing what they wish; whereas a raisin can be seen as a comparison to an individual that has been…

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