Dreams in "Harlem" and "Everyday Use" Comparison Essay

Dreams in "Harlem" and "Everyday Use"
An analysis of the theme of dreams in the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes and the story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker.
# 154047 | 708 words | 3 sources | 2014 | US
Published on Oct 23, 2014 in Literature (Poetry) , Literature (Comparative Literature) , Literature (General)

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From the Paper:

"Hughes asks the question, "What happens to a dream deferred?"(Line 1). This is an open ended question made to grab the reader's attention to the world around them. Past, present, and future are acknowledged in this question. Looking further into the poem, "Harlem" by Langston Hughes, a reader may notice a connection to the characters in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker. The story states three main characters; Maggie, Dee, and Mama. These three characters can be categorized as having a dream deferred, as mentioned in "Harlem".
""Harlem" asks a lot of questions for the reader to answer. The poem appeals to all five senses and gives a different way of believing in a dream. Hughes asks the reader,"Does it stink like rotten meat?" (Line 6) this stimulates the sense of smell. The two basic ideas a reader of the poem would need to imagine are as follows; does a dream fade away without the dreamer ever thinking about it again? Or, does a dream haunt the dreamer until they make some kind of progress with the dream itself?
"Take Mama for example first. Mama gave up on some dreams a long time ago just as everyone else in the story did.The author tries to say that she actually feels bad because she is not like other mothers. The author includes the statement"But of course, this does not show on television." (Walker 364). Meaning, the truth is not always shown to the public. Although, thisstill does not make her a bad person. She did not become the person she knew that she should be though. Mama does not have a high education nor a very healthy beautiful body. Her giving up on her dreams made it harder for Maggie to do anything with her life. Mama thinks that she needs to keep Maggie around to help her out since Dee has moved away. This means that Maggie does not have a choice."

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