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Dream Variation: Exploring African-american Struggle for Equality

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Words: 533 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Words: 533|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Langston Hughes’ “Dream Variation” is a powerful poem that poignantly addresses the African-American experience and the struggle for equality in the United States during the early 20th century. The poem draws inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance, a period of great cultural and artistic creativity in African-American communities. Through the use of vivid imagery, repetition, and contrast, Hughes conveys the complexities of the African-American experience and the hope of achieving freedom and equality.

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The poem begins with a somber image of a “world of dew” which portrays the fragility of life. This is followed by the poignant statement “weary feet in tired shoes,” which highlights the fatigue and exhaustion of the African-American community, both physical and emotional. The words “tired shoes” convey the idea that the struggle for equality has been a long and arduous journey. Furthermore, Hughes’s use of the verb “weary” suggests a sense of hopelessness and exhaustion that weighs heavily on the African-American community.

However, amidst the bleak images of the first stanza, the second stanza introduces a stark contrast through the use of vivid imagery of a “field of cotton” and “sun-warmed” air. This contrast highlights the desire of the African-American community for freedom, equality, and a better future. The use of natural imagery such as “sun-warmed” and “field of cotton” highlights the plight of the African American community, who were forced to work in the fields as slaves and later as sharecroppers.

The third stanza continues to express the desire for freedom through the repetition of “Let us” at the beginning of each line. This repetition emphasizes the feeling of unity and solidarity among the African-Americans. The use of the verb “walk” and “free” evoke the sense of liberation and independence, where African-Americans can walk with pride and dignity without fear of discrimination or violence. The use of the term “lordly” also emphasizes the idea of dignity and respect, where the African-American community is seen as equal and valued members of society.

Lastly, the final stanza emphasizes the desire for freedom and equality through the use of the term “dream.” Hughes uses repetition of the term “dream” to convey the idea that the African-American community is yearning for the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone else. The use of the word “rise” in the last line also emphasizes the hope and determination of the African-American community to overcome the discrimination and inequality that they face.

Furthermore, the use of the term “dream” in the final stanza also carries a historical significance - it is a reference to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech which called for racial equality and an end to discrimination against African-Americans. Hughes’ poem thus acts as a powerful reminder of the African-American struggle for equality and the hope of achieving a brighter future.

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In conclusion, Langston Hughes’ “Dream Variation” is an evocative and powerful poem that explores the complexities of the African-American experience and the struggle for equality in the United States. Through the use of vivid imagery, repetition, and contrast, Hughes conveys the desire for freedom, dignity, and respect that the African-American community has longed for. The poem continues to have relevance today, serving as a reminder of the ongoing fight for equality and social justice.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Dream Variation: Exploring African-American Struggle for Equality. (2024, March 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dream-variation-exploring-african-american-struggle-for-equality/
“Dream Variation: Exploring African-American Struggle for Equality.” GradesFixer, 07 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dream-variation-exploring-african-american-struggle-for-equality/
Dream Variation: Exploring African-American Struggle for Equality. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dream-variation-exploring-african-american-struggle-for-equality/> [Accessed 20 May 2024].
Dream Variation: Exploring African-American Struggle for Equality [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 07 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dream-variation-exploring-african-american-struggle-for-equality/
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