Comparing Harlem And The House On Mango Street

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Comparing Harlem and the House on Mango Street

Harlem and the House on Mango Street


Langston Hughes (1902-1967), poet, novelist, playwright, columnist, was the first African American who lived in the literature (he wrote more than seventy books) and one of the great pioneers of black Harlem Renaissance, a movement of artists that New York neighborhood that took place between 1920 and 1930 and whose manifestations are known in jazz, literature and painting. His most famous fictional character is Jesse B. Semple, nicknamed Simple, which uses humor to protest and satirize the existing injustices. For Hughes, poetry was "the entire human soul, squeezed like a lemon drop by drop, in words like atoms."

Comparison between Harlem and the House on Mango Street

Langston Hughes by Harlem

Langston Hughes is one of the important and significant characters of all time, because of the leader of Harlem Renaissance. However, in general literacy scene he made a large contribution for his successful impression. His early work shows that, he not really attacks on white society directly but through sad wishes and softer uses of words. But his words became more harsh in the beginning of 50's (Anzaldua, 2008).

The Theme

The whole poem (Harlem) is built in the structure of rhetoric. The speaker of the poem is black poet. Black people were given the dreams of equity and equality. However, these dreams never came true. Despite legal, political and social consensus to abolish the apartheid, black people could never experience the indiscriminate society. In other worlds, their dream never came true. Blacks are promised dreams of equality, justice, freedom, indiscrimination, but not fulfilled. They are delayed, deferred and postponed. Only promissory note has been given but has never been brought into reality.

Through this poem, Langston Hughes examines the possible effects caused by the dream, when they are constantly deferred. When the dreams are constantly deferred, or when dreams are constantly postponed and delayed we are naturally cut between hope and hopelessness. The dreams remain in the mind like a heavy load. When these loads are extended, explosions are inevitable. The speaker rhetorically suggests that the dreams will explode and destroy all the limitations imposed upon them. After that, the society of their dream will be born.

When dream is postponed, differed, or delayed, it brings frustration, it dries up like a raisin in the sun, but there is wet inside, likewise, it stinks like rotten meat, it becomes fester like a sore and one day it will explode and cause larger social damages. The poem is in the form of a series of questions, a certain inhabitant of Harlem asks. The first image in the poem is “dream dries up like a raisin”. The simile likens the original dream to a grape, which is sound, juicy, green and fresh since the dream has been neglected for too long, it has probably dried up (Bernard, 2001).

The next image in the poem “fester like” a sore and then run,” conveys ...
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