Given that his poem is titled "Harlem," what dream does the author have in mind? The dream to which Hughes speaks depicts African Americans' long-held dreams for social equality with whites, which have always been dashed. In addition, it describes the pain of loss as a result of racial injustice.
Hughes uses language that would have been familiar to his audience to convey the poem's message. For example, he writes about "blackness" and "sinfulness" because these were common ways for white people to describe black Americans. In addition, he compares the plight of blacks to that of Israelites in Egypt to illustrate how history repeats itself even if things change eventually for the better.
Overall, this poem tells of the many injustices suffered by African Americans over the years and how they continue to be denied their rights today. It also shows that racism is an ever-present problem that will never be solved completely despite many attempts over the years.
Langston Hughes' poem "Harlem" is one of several he wrote on achieving one's dreams. This poem, written largely for the African American community, explores what happens when you don't pursue your aspirations and instead put them off or "delete" them later. It is a plea to the people of Harlem to not let their dreams die, but rather to fight for them.
The poem starts with an introduction explaining the situation in Harlem at that time and then it tells the story of a young man who used to dream about being a doctor but now he only dreams about being rich because there are no jobs available for doctors anymore. This story makes the poem personal for everyone listening/reading it since we can all relate to wanting something bad enough but not being able to go after it.
At first, this poem might seem like it's telling us not to give up on our dreams but then later on it tells us that even though there are no jobs left for doctors, it's still okay to not be one. Langston Hughes was saying that it's OK to not go after your dreams if they don't match what someone else wants for you or if the conditions aren't right yet. Even though he wanted to be a doctor himself, he understood that not everyone is cut out for that kind of work so he tried something new instead.
The poem's title, Harlem, lends the work additional cultural significance. The title Dream Deferred implies that the poem isn't about a specific dream and that the meaning may be applied to any dream. Harlem exemplifies the difficulties of being an African American in the 1950s. It was once the home to New York's black population, but now it is becoming increasingly popular with white urban refugees.
Harlem is the central location where many black Americans lived at this time. There were significant racial tensions between blacks and whites in the city at this time. The harassment of blacks by police officers was common; however, violence against blacks did occur from time to time. These events contribute to the feeling of despair portrayed in the poem.
Harlem is mentioned several times in the first two stanzas. In the first reference, the speaker notes that "the midnight train" will take him back to Harlem. This shows that the poet has family connections there since the train ran through the center of town from New York City to Chicago.
In the second reference, the speaker says he has been "down in Florida" which indicates that he has recently moved. Perhaps the family connection to Harlem no longer exists due to his father having died or because he has chosen to leave.
Florida was a popular destination for blacks who could afford to move during this time period.
Langston Hughes uses symbolism and rich sensory images in "Harlem (A Dream Delayed") to convey us the feelings that he and his people go through in their struggle for freedom and equality. He develops the poem to a thrilling climax by employing questions. The reader has to figure out what Langston Hughes means by each image he uses.
Hughes starts off with a picture of peace and happiness. Then he shows us war scenes, which makes us think that maybe Harlem isn't as safe as it seems. After that, he tells us about rats and bugs, which makes us believe that there might be problems with sanitation. Finally, he asks us if the white man's money can buy justice, which leads us to wonder if equality will ever be achieved. Langston Hughes uses this sequence of images to make his point about racism in America.
Hughes also uses alliteration, onomatopoeia (the sound effects of words), and metaphor to add impact to his poem. Alliteration is when two or more words start with the same letter. This creates a pattern that sounds good when read aloud. For example, "mammies" and "daddies" are two words that use alliteration because they both begin with the letter M. Onomatopoeia is the use of words to describe sounds instead of writing them down.
Hughes seen the hopes of many Harlem, New York, inhabitants fall in the aftermath of World War II. Some interpret this poem as a warning, believing that the speaker is arguing that postponed dreams will cause societal turmoil. Others view it as a statement of optimism for the future.
The poem begins with the line "A man looks at things differently after his dreams have been shattered." This could be interpreted as meaning that if someone's dreams are ever shattered, they will no longer believe in anything or anyone. The poem also mentions "Harlem" twice. Many scholars believe that these references are being made to the riots that occurred there during 1945 and 1946. It is estimated that over 1,000 people were killed, 7,835 arrested, and over 100,000 left homeless by the violence. This would make "Harlem" at the time a synonym for chaos.
Another interpretation is that the dream has been postponed until later in life. If someone realizes too late in life that they have delayed their dreams, they will feel very sad and hopeless about the future.
Some scholars believe that this poem is a warning against giving up on one's dreams. They argue that the speaker is saying that if you postpone your dreams, society will come to ruin.