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Analysis of Literary Devices in Langston Hughes’ Poem Dreams

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The poem “Dreams” by Langston Hughes would be portrayed as a lyric poem due to its expression and personal emotions. Within two stanzas Hughes uses literally devices such as similes, metaphors, imagery and personification to convey the importance of his point. Anyone who reads this short poem can connect with the true meaning because each person has goal. Whether this goal is to be the next president, next millionaire, or next doctor it all starts with a dream. A world without dreams would be a world that lacks diversity, creativity, hard work, and success.

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While analyzing the two stanzas in “Dreams” the message is made clear and has a bigger meaning within the brief poem. With repetition of the line of personification “Hold fast to dreams” the reader can infer that the main point of the poem is about appreciating your dreams. Hughes conveys having dreams as crucial, while having them it is important to hold on and accomplish each. As these dreams make us who we are, they also give our lives meaning and purpose as individuals. Each person has a purpose on earth, destine to leave their mark. However, life would be wasted if each dream a person had were not fulfilled.

With the work of literary devices such as a metaphor, Hughes depicts an image of a bird flying with broken wings and compares it to life with unaccomplished, forgotten dreams. This shows how critical his point is showing how unfulfilled life could feel without having your goals. It’s expressed through more figurative language that if dreams are lost “Life is a barren filed Frozen with snow” to show how dull and cold the world around you could be without pursuing what it is that you want.

Lastly, as said previously “Hold fast to dreams” is repeated to put emphasis on the true meaning of this short poem. The speaker speaks with a sense of regret though parts of the poem. Regret for how life could feel wasted if you don’t act to your dreams. He uses adjectives such as frozen and barren to show the reader the downside of not acting. Things never come easy. Each person must step over hurdles and work hard for their dreams. Its just a matter of not letting go of them or giving up.

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In conclusion, Langston Hughes has set a tone using figurative language throughout his short poem for everyone to have set dreams and hold onto them no matter the struggle. Any hurdle is better than having wasted life, feeling like a frozen barren field. Each of us has strived through tasks, each of us has a goal to be something whether it be an astronaut, a model, the next Picasso or even a teach. It all starts with a dream.   

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Analysis Of Literary Devices In Langston Hughes’ Poem Dreams. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from
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