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Historical Perspective

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The two poems I chose to analyze with an historical perspective is A Dream Deferred, and I, Too, both of these poems are written by Langston Hughes. A very well known all around Renaissance writer during the early days of the 1960's Langston Hughes worked hard to fill his life of the African American Culture. Because his writing was during the time when racism was so strong, he used his writings to relate to what was happening around him. His poems generally speak high of African American, racism and cruelty and they are treated differently only because of their skin color. I find that writing poetry, and plays, was the best way he could express his frustrations of all the racial relations. Langston Hughes also wrote a few poems about dreams, I found that he wrote about dreams because they hold an important key in our life, and sometimes we must rely on our dreams to get the answers we seek. And sometimes they are just a dream, but if they are indeed just a dream, do we follow them?

In the poem A Dream Deferred, it appears Langston Hughes is specifically asking questions of wonder, but after I closely read the poem again, I found that he is wondering what makes a dream stop. Hence the word deferred. Dreams are important to everyone, whether they be something small, or something very big and important. Because the dream stops, this can cause serious, or negative affects on the dreamer themselves. "Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?" (Hughes, 2004, line 2). Two thoughts can come of this interpretation, a raisin itself is healthy and good to eat. But if left to dry even more and become hard it will no longer have that sweet tasting and healthy purpose it is there to serve with. In turn, if you do not allow the dream to dry up, you want it to heal so you can continue and have a positive outcome of this interpretation "Or fester like a soar" (Hughes, 2004, line 4). So I find that with this specific poem, I had to read between the lines and find the true meaning of this poem. I related this poem to the time of slavery, all the slaves at this time could do other than hope was dream. If they followed their dream, there was hope for them, hope to live another day, hope to see their families, and more importantly, hope for the future.

I believe Langston Hughes is a man who not only follows his dreams, but he also respects them and pays close attention to what they are trying to say. All dreams have meaning, and it is your choice to follow those dreams, they all hold a specific meaning, you just have to look under the surface of them all, to know their true meaning, and there forward it is up to you how you want to treat it.

The poem I, Too is about a man during the time of slavery. In the poem the man talks about how he is sent to not be seen when people come over because he is black, but this does not bother him, he stays positive throughout the poem. "But I laugh and eat well and



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