English

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“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?



"What happens to a dream deferred?" Do you agree with the author? Explain your answer.


My answer is I say dreams deferred are still dreams they do not have to be labeled as failure. In some cases deferring a dream can be a bigger blessing than a dream coming true.
Is my answer good enough?

  • English -

    Actually it's true! I'm sure you've heard "be careful what you wish for!"

    Sra

  • English -

    P.S. However, if you were to speak to the tone of the poem, or the poet's attitude, look again at the depressing words: dry up, fester, stink, heavy load. What is the answer, just considering the poem?

    Sra

  • English -

    It seems like it is asking in the beginning of the poem that, does the raisin dry up like when you wake up in the morning and forget about the dream you had. As the day goes by, you think about that dream and wonder if you're going to be able to finish it tonight. And when it starts to go back to sleep, but you can’t get back to that one dream, it's like a stink like rotten meat. I can’t come up with anything else about the poem for the rest of the lines.

  • English -

    This poem is not talking about the dreams you have while you sleep. It is talking about the "dreams" you have for your future, what you would like to achieve, where you would like to go, who you would like to become.

    It is asking when these dreams don't come true as quickly as you would like, what happens. Do you just forget about the dream? Does the dream just go away?
    Does it become something that makes you unhappy when you think about it?

  • English -

    Thank you both so much!

  • English -

    You should also read up on Langston Hughes (the poet) and the era referred to as the Harlem Renaissance. You will understand these writers and their works much more if you understand when and where they were writing.

    Hughes: http://www.google.com/search?q=langston+hughes&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___US357

    Harlem Renaissance: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___US357&hs=kEU&q=harlem+renaissance&aq=0&aql=&aqi=g10&oq=harlem+re

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