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"A Dream Deferred"

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by

Maggie White

on 8 September 2012

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Transcript of "A Dream Deferred"

By: Langston Hughes "A Dream Deferred" 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? The Poem P-PARAPHRASE Deferred means to put off, delay, suspend
This poem might be about what happens to dreams that are put off/delayed/suspended T-TITLE What happens when one puts off
a dream or what happens if it's delayed due to an unexpected circumstance? Langston Hughes uses a lot of imagery, similes, and a metaphor to describe what happens to your life when a dream is delayed, but it appears to be answered with nothing more than more questions. C-CONNOTATIONS Simile #1-Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? When a dream is deferred, it's
compared to a dried up raisin.
A raisin is hard, but if it's left in
the sun it becomes hard and
impossible to eat. It no longer has a
nutritional purpose. A DREAM DEFERRED
IS USELESS. Simile #2-Or fester like a sore--
And then run? If a sore doesn't heal properly,
it will fester and run which is
cause for infection and irritation.
A DREAM DEFERRED CAUSES
IRRITATION. Simile #3-Does it
stink like rotten
meat? Rotten meat is decayed,
gross, and not wanted.
A DREAM THAT IS NOT
REALIZED IN A TIMELY FASHION
WILL DECAY BECAUSE IT DIES. Simile #4-Or crust and
sugar over--like a syrupy
sweet? Think of the crusty
accumulation on top
of an unused bottle of syrup
or honey--it can become
unusable. Lack of use had formed
the crust and it's no longer useful.
A DREAM FORCED TO SIT IDLE HARDENS
INTO AN UNUSABLE SUBSTANCE. Simile #5--Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. This is not a question but merely a "maybe" suggestion. Maybe the dream (goal) just sags like
trying to carry something heavy. A heavy load can be impossible to carry. A DREAM NOT REALIZED
MAY BECOME TOO HEAVY TO BEAR...weighs on one's mind with musings like "what might have been" or "if only"....... Metaphor--Or does it explode? The last stanza returns to the question again in the form of a metaphor of an explosion. What explodes? Explosions cause great destruction. IF THE PERSON WHOSE DREAM IS DEFERRED LOSES ALL HOPE, HE MIGHT "EXPLODE" WITH DESPAIR.
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