Explain the connection between the poem, “A Dream Deferred” and A Raisin in the Sun.

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up 
like a raisin in the sun? 
Or fester like a sore-- 
And then run? 
Does it stink like rotten meat? 
Or crust and sugar over-- 
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Walter Lee Younger is a dreamer. He dreams of having his own business. When that dream falls apart, Walter's dream can be compared to Langston Hughes's poem "A Dream Deferred." In Hughes poem, he compares a broken dream to various concepts.

No doubt, Walter is carrying a dream deferred. It is as a raisin that dries up in the sun. Walter loses all of Mama Younger's insurance money and Walter is left with a dried up dream. His deferred dream is like a sore that festers and runs from the infection. Walter's dream can be compared to a sore that festers and runs. He erupts from all the disappointment of his broken dreams. He drinks heavily and comes home verbally abusive. He is sarcastic and filled with infection from his festering dream. His dream "stink[s] like rotten meat." Walter's dream is gone, along with the money that Willy Harris took from Walter.

Truly, Walter can relate to Hughes's poem. His dream sags and explodes, leaving Walter to pick up the pieces of his broken dream. Walter screams and yells like a wounded animal. His dream explodes as he explodes. He shouts out in anger and hurt. Willy Harris has destroyed Walter's dream of having his own business. What happens to Walter's deferred dream? Does it resemble Hughes poetic comparisons?

No doubt, Walter's dream is found among the deferred dream of Hughes's poem. He is a bitter man who has lost all hope. His dream is an infectious sore which runs and sags until it explodes. Hughes, in his descriptive imagery, understands what a dream deferred looks like. The visual images he conveys are metaphorically expressed and show a connection to Walter and his deferred dream.

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