Literary Analysis Essay of Langston Hughes’ ‘Dreams’

Literary Analysis Essay of Langston Hughes’ ‘Dreams’

‘Dreams’ is one of the famous poems by Langston Hughes. The poem is credited for its enthusiasm and message to readers surrounding the importance of dreams to people. The central point provided by the speaker of the poem is that people should never let go of their dreams. It is one thing that keeps life interesting and enables one to move forward in life. Though the poem is only comprised of 8 lines, each line evokes depth and meaning to audiences. It brings the recognition that our ability to pursue our own dreams defines our fulfillment and satisfaction in life.

Looking closely, one of the most evident themes presented in the story corresponds to the nature of dreams. Here, Hughes recognizes the significance of the term in helping define the lives of people. Individuals who aspire for something are the ones who usually experience success and achievements in life (Pham 1). For Hughes, it is critical that people maintain this mindset because this is a way to overcome the struggles and difficulty in life. Having dreams enable people to follow a specific direction in life and increases ways to find meaning and value in every decision or action. By putting these features forward, Hughes is able to provide a powerful way to convey meaning to audiences even with only a few lines.

Another concept that is related to idea of dreams by Hughes is opportunity. Arguably, the poem provides an implicit attempt to tell audiences the value of opportunity and how people should take advantage of these. For Hughes, dreams are there to keep people motivated and by finding ways to achieve these, everyone is given chances to make these possible. Seeing this, the poem contends that it is valuable that people take advantage of these because these situations do not happen all the time (Silva 1). Opportunities here arguably serve to help people become successful and reach what they want in life. However, this can only be achieved if people are willing to act on these and recognize how each situation would be beneficial in helping provide the direction for positive change.

The poem by Hughes also remains to be rich with numerous literary devices. Arguably, this enables readers to associate a deeper meaning to the piece and identify social relevance to specific lines within the poem. For instance, the use of imagery remains to be apparent particularly on how dreams remain to be an integral part of a man’s life. Specifically, the line by Hughes that says “For if dreams die | Life is a broken-winged bird” (1) remains to be a powerful way to show imagery as readers are able to comprehend the depth and necessity of man to have a dream in life. Equally, the use of repetition or anaphora is evident in the poem. Here, the phrase ‘dreams die’ is emphasized in order to prove a point on the necessity that man should not give up. Similarly, the use of metaphor equally reinforces the overall theme because it lets readers understand the necessity of dreams in motivating people to become better in life.

Overall, ‘Dreams’ by Langston Hughes remains to be simple yet thought provoking piece that captures audience’s attention. Though it is only composed of eight lines in total, Hughes is able to highlight the necessity of having dreams and its relevance in defining the lives of people. The author’s ability to utilize literary devices increases its ability of readers to identify the meaning of dreams and opportunity as it presents in our own respective lives. Altogether, these components make Hughes piece universal and relevant to all readers regardless of race and cultural background.

Works Cited

Hughes, Langston. ‘Dreams’ n.d. Web. Accessed 4 September 2014.

Pham, Vivian. ‘Langston Hughes – Dreams’ CrespiMagazine.13 Feb. 2012. Web. Accessed 4 September 2014.

Silva, Shaun. ‘Poetry Analysis of Dreams by Langston Hughes’ Humanities 360. 9 May 2013.  Web. Accessed 4 September 2014.