PosterĄG Joyce at 22:20:34 12/4/97 from h24.s91.ts.hinet.net
|Journal on Harlem
"Harlem" is a community where most African-Americans inhabit in New York. And we can find out in another Langston Hughes's poem "Harlem 1", he suggests that Harlem is the edge of hell. And in this poem, we can still find out something terrible and unfair to the black people in USA. Just any other people in America, the African-American have their dream. What different is that their dream will hardly come true. But as we can see at the beginning of this poem, it says the dream will deferred. So maybe the dream will come true one certain day, but the day is still far away. I think this poem is about the racial discrimination in United States or in this modern world.
In the first line of this poem, why the poet use "dream" instead of "hope"? In my opinion, "Hope" is possible to make it come true as long as one work hard and spare no effort to achieve the goal. But actually, "dream" always impossible come true even if we make much effort. It's the same as the African-American. For most of them want the equal right and dream, but they can't get it until now just because their skin, they are black people.
In the second stanza, it consist of three questions. But I think, partly they are suggest some answers of the question mentioned at the very beginning. The African- American, their dream or themselves just as the raisin dry up in the sun. it is really sad, but not two bad. The descriptions in the following question are quite disgusting. "fester like a sore" and " stink" like a "rotten meat". It really make me sick and feel disgusting.
Maybe they all suggest the life of the Negroes have in this modern world. Their life has been ignored by the world and the white people for a long time. Even in such a modern and fashioned society as New York, their life in Harlem are completely different from other people in New York. Their life is hard and their environment is disgusting and dirty maybe. But I am not sure about the last 2 line of the second stanza?
We know the African-American actually are not belong to the USA originally. They first came here just because they were caught to be the slaves in the southern America from Africa. Their works were something related to the "cotton". "sag like a heavy load" in the third stanza maybe suggest that the slaves were work with a big sack of cotton, it is a heavy pressure. Although the black people do not need to work with these heavy load in this modern world, they're still under a heavy pressure for the unfair treatment and the racial discrimination.
In the last stanza, the poem is still end up with a question as the beginning. But actually, we can view it as the result of the "dream"? The dream will explode for they can not change their life in this modern world for they can never change their skins. I think the racial discrimination is really a big problem in the United State, this most modern country in this modern world. This is really unfair to the African-American. If they really work hard to make their dreams come true, they still can not receive an equal result in return. This is really a serious problem. We always say "we must take the equal attitude towards any races", even in the America Constitution say so. But actually the racial discrimination still insist in this modern world. Is it a lie? We really need to take it into careful consideration and find a way out.
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