The Life of Langston Hughes

Monday, May 9, 2011

Literary Analysis "A Dream Deferred"

James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet who focused on discussing the race relations during the Harlem Renaissance period, primarily on African Americans. Langston Hughes was a representation of African Americans. He was deemed the "Poet Laureate of the Negro Race," a title he encouraged according to ( What happens to a dream deferred? Just by his character, I believe he had dreams as a young individual himself. He wanted to make them come true and express his dreams through his poetry. Did his dream come true or was it just a Dream Deferred?
The ‘dream’ in “A Dream Deferred” is a goal that you entitle to yourself to achieve in life. When you have a dream or goal in life that you are trying to pursue no matter how big or little you want to accomplish that goal. Throughout this poem Hughes asks rhetorical questions. He is trying to get the reader to put him/her in the situation of their dream being blown up in their face. When you really want something and it does not go your way it can lead to unhappiness, anger, or even depression of that matter. As for the dream, what happens to it?
“Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” Your dream becomes a total setback in your life. In this poem every question is followed by the reply of a negative question. There is no positive consequence that comes along with a deferred dream. Hughes uses the imagery “Or fester like a sore—And then run” it is referring to your dream collapsing right there in front of your eyes. When you have a sore on your body, you see the different stages and changes it goes through, also with life itself. But can you intervene and do something to prevent it from happening? No, you can’t, it is nature. In the end your sore is infected and you are disappointed with yourself and what you did not achieve. That is just how the cookie crumbles.
When the average person is worrying too much, they stress. Many people tend to stress when something is not going as planned. All you’re doing is thinking about what is going on and how can you fix the situation at hand. So it just sits there in the back of your mind, but what is it doing exactly? “Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.” It is weighing you down, like a burden. You can’t find strength to move forward in your life and accomplish new goals.
In the end when you could not live up to your own expectations, what can you do? Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and always stay determined. When your dream is deferred, what really happens?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

1.      "A Dream Deferred." Web. 05 May 2011. <>.
2.      "Langston Hughes Biography: African-American History: Crossing Boundaries: Kansas Humanities Council." Kansas Heritage Group | Established 1993 | Kansas (KS) History, Old WestKS, Cities, Museums, Art, Racing, Cowboy Cooking, Laughead Web | Native Voices International. Web. 04 May 2011. <>.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home