COM1102: Writing About Literature, Fall 2020, Sect. 01

The title of Lorraine Hansberry’s play comes from a line in Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem.” Read that poem below. In your discussion board post, respond to the following questions:

–Define the word deferred. What are some synonyms for the word that help you better understand its meaning? How could a dream be deferred?

–How would you describe the imagery Hughes uses in his figurative language in the poem? What emotions or impressions does it evoke in the reader?

–Why do you think Hughes uses the strategy of posing a series of questions to structure the poem? How effective was the strategy?

“Harlem” by Langston Hughes

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?