What is the tone of the poem "Dreams"?

The tone of "Dreams" is both ominous and despondent, which serves to reinforce the need for strength in holding onto dreams even in the midst of difficulties.

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Tone is the attitude the speaker takes toward the subject of the literary work. In "Dreams," the primary subject consists of the outcome of unfulfilled dreams. The tone of this poem feels at once both despondent and ominous.

The speaker uses metaphors to convey a spirit of hopelessness...

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Tone is the attitude the speaker takes toward the subject of the literary work. In "Dreams," the primary subject consists of the outcome of unfulfilled dreams. The tone of this poem feels at once both despondent and ominous.

The speaker uses metaphors to convey a spirit of hopelessness that pervades when dreams die. He compares the death of a dream to a "broken winged bird" which loses its ability to do the very thing it was created to do—fly. Thus, those who lose their dreams are left without purpose, existing without direction or meaning. This sense of hopelessness is balanced by the speaker's directive to "hold fast" to those dreams in order to preserve purpose and meaning in life.

The speaker then employs the metaphor of a barren field covered in snow to provide an image of the desolation that remains in the absence of dreams. Like this cold field, a person's life can become barren and frozen, unable to sustain life or hope when their dreams have been depleted. Again, the speaker urges the audience to "hold fast" to dreams in order to hold fast to the possibilities of life.

There is an ominous undercurrent to the broken and barren images which remain in the absence of dreams, and this tone reinforces the ultimate message of strength in maintaining one's dreams despite difficulties.

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