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Dreams Deferred The poem A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes accurately and descriptively portrays the attitudes of African American people during the mid 1900s Hughes expresses the possible responses of African Americans to their dreams being deferred by means of metaphors and similes The first thing the reader needs to do to understand this poem is find out what a dream deferred means Deferred means to put something off or to postpone it In this poem Hughes asks the question and then proceeds to attempt an answer for himself with more questions The dreams of the blacks in the 1900s were things such as social economic and educational equality basic civil rights Unfortunately the obstacle of racism stood in the way of achieving these goals However Hughes poem does not have to be limited to the dreams of African Americans but any dreams of all people everywhere In the first of Hughes possible answers he asks Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun The reader needs to think about what exactly raisins are grapes that shrivel and dry out after a period of time in the sun With this knowledge the reader thinks about how to interpret the meaning of this simile Hughes implies that the dream like the grape loses its juice or its vitalityits life Hughes suggests the dreams of the African Americans will like the raisin eventually dry up and soon after die if they are deferred In presenting another outcome of deferring a dream Hughes asks if the dream will fester like a sore-And then run In this he uses a simile that illustrates a gruesome picture of a sore The reader thinks of hisher own personal experience of sores A sore builds up to such an extent that it eventually just breaks open releasing puss The festering in essence is the frustration that has been building up from the African Americans not being given
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