What are literary devices used in "Dreams" by Langston Hughes other than personification, simile, imagery, and rhyme.Dreams, by Langston Hughes Hold fast to dreamsFor if dreams dieLife is a...

What are literary devices used in "Dreams" by Langston Hughes other than personification, simile, imagery, and rhyme.

Dreams, by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Other literary devices apparent in Hughes' short poem "Dreams" relate to structure, in particular to parallelism and repetition in structure. First, structural parallelism is evident in the details of the two halves. Each has repetition that is varied by the simile used and by asymmetrical conditionals.

The conditional in the first half reads, "For if dreams die ...," while the conditional in the second reads, "For when dreams go ...." Each of these conditionals is followed by a simile. The first conditional is followed by, "Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly," while the second conditional is followed by, "Life is a barren field / Frozen with snow." These similes emphasize the devastating loss expressed in the conditionals by describing how personal volition is removed with the death of a dream ("cannot fly") and how fulfillment is lost when "dreams go" ("barren field").

Repetition, by which Hughes creates a complicated stanza, follows the same pattern in both the two halves. "Hold fast to dreams / For if/when dreams die/go ..." is repeated in each with variation in the second parts. This type of repetition, which repeats the same words at the beginning and end of clauses, is called symploce, in particular, a type of symploce called coenotes. It is followed by a repetition called anaphora in which words that begin a clause ("Life is a ...") are repeated but ending words are not repeated:

1.
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
2.
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

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