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“Harlem” by Langston Hughes English 9 Poetry Unit.

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1 “Harlem” by Langston Hughes English 9 Poetry Unit

2 “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?

3 Background Harlem – section of New York City Became center of African American culture in the 1920s. After WWII, the area became economically depressed, and many young African Americans faced futures without opportunity or hope.

4 Langston Hughes (1902-1967)  Elected class poet in grammar school  In high school, he wrote for the yearbook & newspaper and began writing short stories, poems, etc.  Father paid for him to go to Columbia University to study engineering, but he dropped out to write…  First African American writer to support himself through his writing  First published when he was only 19 years old

5 Langston Hughes  Proud to be a black American  His main concern was uplifting his people & recording their experiences of strength, resiliency, courage, and humor  His writings portrayed the lives of working class blacks  lives full of struggles, joys, laughter, and music  His work displays his pride in the African-American identity and its diverse culture.

6 Figures of Speech A figure of speech is a word or phrase that describes one thing in terms of something very different from it. Simile – creates a comparison by using a connective word such as like, as, than or resembles. Example: Busy AS a bee Metaphor – compares two unlike things without the use of connective words. Example: “Life IS a highway”

7 Poem Summary In this short and deceptively simple poem, Hughes uses various figures of speech to evoke the feelings of disappointment, frustration, bitterness, and rage that are engendered by racial and social injustice. Deferred means delayed or postponed. What is the dream that is being postponed? Equality and Justice Realizing one’s full potential

8 Similes What are the 5 similes that Hughes compares a deferred dream to? Compared to…Meaning… Raisin in the sunShriveled; Dried up Festering sorePainful Rotten MeatUnbearable Syrupy SweetBitterness Heavy LoadHeavy on the Mind

9 Metaphor Implied Metaphor – Does not state the comparison directly. Rather, it implies or suggests one thing is another. “Or does it explode?” (line 11) What is the deferred dream being compared to in this implied metaphor? A bomb… Why would Hughes compare dream to bomb?

10 Imagery Language that appeals to the senses… Hughes appeals to all five senses in his poem: Raisin in the sunSight Festering soreTouch/Feel Rotten MeatSmell Syrupy SweetTaste Heavy LoadTouch/Feel Bomb ExplodingSound

11 Theme Central idea of a work Must be expressed in a sentence Reveals something about human nature Two possible themes: Unfilled dreams generate destructive energy. Rage is a result of not being able to fulfill dreams.

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