Thursday, September 16, 2010
The format and pattern of the poem "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes was greatly significant to its overall context and meaning. As a whole, the author seemed to be making an effort to cause readers to evaluate their own personal dreams. He did this by urging them to determine what types of dreams they possessed, and by prompting them not to defer them but to bring about a change from them instead. Through its format, the poem was divided into distinct phrases and thoughts. The speaker questioned the reader, asking questions which represented different dreams. The first question represented an opportunity that may present itself in one's life but last only a short time, drying up like a "raisin in the sun". The next symbolized the consequences of inaction and talked about a dream "festering like a sore". If individuals put off a problem that is important to them, eventually it will lead to some sort of unhappy ending. Whether that means a disagreement, violence, or something else is subjective to each reader. The next line, a comparison to rotten meat, demonstrates a dream set aside that will last or be remembered afterward. When Langston finally reaches the question about a sugary sweet, I linked it to a problem that may become partially solved or sugarcoated but is still present underneath the surface. When he switched the pattern of asking questions to one of making a statement, I felt like it emphasized his point even further. A "heavy load" is something that weighs one down, showing that ignoring acting upon one's dreams will only weigh a person down in the end. His metaphor in his last line shows the consequences of deferring dreams. By structuring his poem in this specific way, Langston Hughes added an element of emphasis to his writing. I stopped to think after I read each line, and I'm sure his intention was for his readers to do exactly that.