Saturday, August 31, 2019

Harlem by Langston Hughes Essay

Harlem has skillfully summed up the pathos and miseries of Afro-American life and its reason for socio-cultural strife in the American society and history in few lines. It contains the two essential element of any great piece of literature i.e. brevity and comprehensiveness. Langston Hughes takes into account the social impact of deferred dream and provides a clear allusion that these deferred dreams went off in the form of social unrest and increased hatred between Black and White communities in the fifties and sixties. Langston skillfully uses the symbols of decadence to epitomize the putrefying society and then suddenly questions about the ultimate outcome. On a broader level, this poem also refers to ‘American Dream’ that aimed at the attainment of material gains only. This social goal neglected the social equity and turned American society into a wasteland.   So true dreams got deferred and exploded in the form of civil rights movement and social-political conflicts of 1960s. He uses powerful imagery to emphasize the magnitude of decadence that deferred dreams bring with the passage of time. For example ‘raisin’ denotes a darkened grape that remains constantly exposed to sun. So a deferred dreams feeds on the pathetic beams of social miseries and turns soar. Although on the surface level the net effect seems negative but one must keep in mind that raisin is savory too. So his revolutionary vision was based on a peaceful and progressive world.   Langston weaved dreams not only for the common Afro-American folk but also for poets of future generations. This dream-maker influenced the future poets to create work based in their own roots and values. So his â€Å"dream deferred† did not â€Å"dry up like a raisin in the sun† or â€Å"fester like a sore† but â€Å"it explode[d]† in a positive by influencing his reader and future writers alike.

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