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Analysis of Langston Hughes “Dreams” and “Harlem – A DREAM Deferred”

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Presentation on theme: "Analysis of Langston Hughes “Dreams” and “Harlem – A DREAM Deferred”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Analysis of Langston Hughes “Dreams” and “Harlem – A DREAM Deferred”

2 “Dreams” Discussion Questions  To what does the speaker compare life in the first stanza?  Interpret the metaphors. What does each suggest about life?  Restate in your own words the advice that this poem offers. The American poet Delmore Schwarts once wrote," In dreams begin responsibilities." How might Hughes interpret this statement? Base your answer on the poems you have just read.

3 Subject: Keep trying to achieve your dreams Occasion: personal experience Purpose: to show you cannot live to your full potential if you let your dreams die “Dreams” by Langston Hughes Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. Audience: general audience; other African Americans Speaker: unknown narrator-possibly poet

4 “Dreams” Annotations Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.

5 Type: Lyric Repetition: Hold fast to dreams Metaphors: Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly Life is a barren field frozen with snow “Dreams” ANNOTATIONS Hold fast to dreamsA For if dreams dieB Life is a broken-winged bird C That cannot fly.B Hold fast to dreamsA For when dreams goD Life is a barren fieldE Frozen with snow.D Alliteration: dreams die Assonance: that & cannot; frozen & snow Stanzas: 2 Quatrains

6 “Dream Deferred” Discussion Questions  List the verbs used to indicate what can happen to "a dream deferred.”  With what kind of dream do you think the poem is concerned? Identify five similes in the poem. What do you think the speaker is suggesting in each simile?  Discuss the following theme: dream, disillusionment, poverty and frustrations  Interpret the last line. Why people need to feel they can fulfill their dreams?

7 Tone: Questioning, judgmental, warning Speaker: Someone who is bitter about having his dreams put off Audience: Society “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes (Harlem) What happens to a dream deferred? 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?

8 Subject: A series of rhetorical questions about living with disappointment Themes: Having to postpone one’s deepest desires can lead to destruction or destructive behavior “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes (Harlem) What happens to a dream deferred? 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?

9 “Dream Deferred” ANNOTATIONS (Harlem) What happens to a dream deferred? 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?

10 “Dream Deferred” ANNOTATIONS (Harlem) What happens to a dream deferred? A Does it dry upB like a raisin in the sunC Or fester like a sore—D And then run?C Does it stink like rotten meat?E Or crust and sugar over—F Like a syrupy sweet?E Maybe it just sagsG like a heavy load. Or does it explode?H Type: Lyric Metaphor: “does it explode?” End Rhyme: “sun-run” “meat-sweet” “load-explode” Stanzas: Six Repetition: “does it”

11 Imagery: “raisin in the sun” “fester like a sore” “stink like rotten meat” “heavy load” “explode” Similes: “dry up like a rasin in the sun” “fester like a sore-” “stink like rotten meat” Sugar over-Like a syrupy sweet?” “sag like a heavy load” “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes (Harlem) What happens to a dream deferred? 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? Alliteration: “dream deferred”

12 Essential Question Why do writers use figurative language like similes and metaphors in their poetry? Writers use metaphors and similes to invite the reader to make a comparison between two unlike things and to note a surprising characteristic they share.

13 “Dreams” and “A Dream Deferred” Think about goals you have set for yourself but are not sure you can achieve. How does the possibility of failure make you feel? What if someone told you that you couldn’t achieve your goals and dreams?

14 Post-Reading Text to Text Connection  What similarities do you see between the poems “Dreams” and “A Dream Deferred”?  How are the poems different? Use evidence from the poems to support your answers.


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