Why does Langton Hughes answer his main questions with a list of questions and is he expressing political of societal values

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that you are referring to Hughes' poem, "A Dream Deferred."  It goes by different names, but I think this is the poem in question.  Hughes is trying to evoke what it means to be Black in America and what impact this has on one's ability to dream.  In a nation that is predicated upon the equality of opportunity and the ability to live life freely without constraints, yet whose practice is (at the time of Hughes' writing) segregation, institutional racism, and denial of said opportunities, answering the fundamental question of "What happens to a dream deferred?" can only be done through exploring the implications of the collision between theory and practice.  In proposing multiple questions, Hughes brings a multi- faceted approach to how the treatment of Black Americans has different impacts on both their growth as a group and America, as a whole.  In expressing these questions through images, Hughes is suggesting that America should become aware of what its practices of denial of hope and opportunity are doing to a group of people, and how this could have traumatic and, potentially, destructive impacts.  It is a stinging indictment of refusing to accept the dignity and human rights of another human being or group of individuals.

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