Langston and Walker

Langston and Walker

  • Submitted By: basandage
  • Date Submitted: 02/17/2009 9:48 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 349
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 845

When reading Langston Hughes' poem Dream Deferred, he used a lot of rhetorical questions because they intend to answer themselves. Throughout this poem, the word "dream" is a goal in life and to not fulfill that goal would have serious negative effects. With the first question, "Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun", is a simile meaning that a raisin would have all its value sucked out if it dried hard and became impossible to eat. I think the social and political values within this poem have to do with opportunity social readiness. Say a person wanted a certain profession, but was not allowed due to social boundaries and that person is not allowed to fulfill is life goal or "dream". Then what happens to his talent and passion - these are the questions Hughes is asking. Will it "fester like a sore", meaning infection, or "crust and sugar over", making it no longer useful?

In Alice Walker's Everyday Use, the three main characters are Dee, an egotistical and selfish character who does not understand her inheritance; Maggie, a simplistic and good hearted person; and Mama, uneducated and practical. This story has all to do with heritage and ancestry. Dee, although educated, does not understand heritage. She wants to take the quilts and hang them even though that would not be respecting her heritage as Maggie would by using them as intended, "Maggie can't appreciate these quilts... she'd probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use." (DiYanni). I think this story is full of symbolism and imagery.

As in Hughes' I'm Still Here, I think Walker's Everyday Use, is about living simply and with a smile, no matter your education or situation. I think these two parallel in ways of showing appreciation for what you have and who you are, just being on earth alone is enough to make me smile. All of these writings have to due with oppression and heritage, about breaking out of the mold of society's boundaries while preserving the pride of a culture.

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