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To Dream or Not to Dream

            "Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." (Langston 1-4) This metaphor in "Dreams" by Langston Hughes tells the reader that without dreams one is as useless as a bird without flight. Likewise, a dream that has been deferred can be just as or even more damaging, which Langston depicts with "Dream Deferred." Both poems show the importance of not only having a dream, but fulfilling that dream to achieve happiness in life. In Langston Hughes's poem "Dream Deferred" Hughes warns the reader through the use of sensory similes that postponing a dream may have negative consequences.
             To relate to the everyday person, Hughes uses simple, but powerful imagery to get his point across. "Does it dry up/ like a raisin in the sun?" (Langston 506). Typically, the sun brings life, but in this context the sun is sucking the life out of a grape, turning it into a raisin. What is left of a person who has no dreams? "Or fester like a sore/ And then run?" (506). If left untreated, a sore will intensify over time and cause an infection which could spread throughout the body. Will not pursuing a dream lead to disappointment and then anger? Will this anger eventually cause destruction? "Does it stink like rotten meatOr crust and sugar over/like a syrupy sweet?" (506) Like meat or syrup that has not been used fast enough, a dream can expire and become unpleasant if delayed too long. "Maybe it just sags/like a heavy load." (506) Once identified, a dream can become a burden that weighs on the person's mind every day. .
             The wording of the poem intentionally generates a negative tone. Hughes employs foul words and phrases such as "fester" and "stink like rotten meat". He does so not to gross the reader out, but to elicit an alarming response. Sometimes the best way to get a point across is to be blunt and not sugar coat it.

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