Homework Help

How does "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes relate to events or themes of To Kill a...

user profile pic

vivixcece | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM via web

dislike 1 like

How does "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes relate to events or themes of To Kill a Mockingbird?

*Note: I have only read up to chapter 17 in To Kill a Mockingbird so please use events that happened during chapter 17 or the chapters in front of chapter 17. Thanks!

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 30, 2011 at 11:12 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 4 like

I believe I can make an indirect connection between To Kill a Mockingbird and the Langston Hughes poem.  By indirect, I mean that I can't think of anyone who was explicitly pursuing, or wished to pursue an impossible dream--unless that dream is of equality.  However, when we consider the impossible-to-overcome racism of the 1933 South, the poem begins to have a more apparent connection.  The images Hughes uses to describe, metaphorically of course, the emotions experienced by one with an impossible dream are likely very similar to those experienced by Tom Robinson, Atticus, and later Scout and Jem, as they all struggle with the irrational, unfair, and impossible nature of Robinson's predicament.  The deeply ingrained attitudes of Southerners toward blacks in Maycomb were such that once Robinson was accused of a crime against a white woman, there was no way he would ever be free again. The anger and frustration Robinson, his wife, Atticus, and eventually the children, could be likened to festering sores, stinking meat, or any of the other metaphors Hughes uses.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes