Poetic Devices in "A Dream Deferred"

Poetic Devices in "A Dream Deferred"
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Dreams by Langston Hughes Lesson Plans

“Dreams” and “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes

Lesson Plans by Kristy Littlehale

In the two poems “Dreams” and “A Dream Deferred”, Hughes focuses on the common dreams of African Americans in the early 1900s – the same dream that Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks of in his “I Have A Dream” speech: true equality. In “Dreams”, Hughes examines the theme of the importance of not letting go of dreams, because without dreams, life is empty and broken. In “A Dream Deferred”, Hughes examines the important question of what happens when dreams get put off: do they become more powerful, as the struggle for equality did with each passing year? While Hughes wrote from a uniquely African American perspective, his poems about dreams are relatable to every American who has pursued their own American dreams.


Dreams and A Dream Deferred

Storyboard Description

Poetic Devices in A Dream Deferred

Storyboard Text

  • PARALLELISM
  • ALLITERATION
  • IMAGERY
  • "Does it dry up / Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- / And then run?"
  • "What happens to a dream deferred?"
  • "Does it stink like rotten meat?"
  • CONSONANCE
  • "A Dream Deferred"
  • SIMILE
  • "Or crust and sugar over--"
  • "Maybe it just sags / Like a heavy load."
  • DREAMS
  • Image Attributions:clock face snip (https://www.flickr.com/photos/25559122@N06/4244796152/) - sammydavisdog - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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