Broken Winged Bird

Langston Hughes’ “Dreams” – Pham


Vivian Pham

Ms. Nelson

English 3 Period

February 13th, 2012

                                                                        Langston Hughes’ “Dreams”

    Ever had a dream that you always wanted to live? Like to be a famous basketball player, the greatest singer, or even to break a world record? But you know that you can’t live it? In Langston Hughes’ poem “Dreams,” he uses similes, metaphors, and personifications to create a theme that shows us that our dreams give our lives meaning and purpose,they allow us to be what we can all be and to accomplish all we can accomplish. Without our dreams, we can’t “fly.” Without them, our lives are barren; nothing can grow or bloom within us.

    To begin, Langston Hughes uses personifications to create a meaningful and strong mood in the poem. In the first stanza, the speaker, Langston Hughes, says, “Hold fast to dreams/For if dreams die.” The personification “Hold fast to dreams”gives us a meaning that Langston Hughes is saying that you should never give up on your hopes and dreams. The speaker uses a a human characteristic(holding) to a non-living thing (dreams) which is a personification. So the message is to hold on tight to your dreams and never let go.

    Secondly, Langston Hughes’ use of metaphors also points out to the poem being about never to let go of your dreams. The following lines from the first stanza have metaphor: “ Life is a broken-winged bird/that cannot fly. Langston Hughes compares a broken-winged bird to life meaning life can hard at point. The message of this part of a poem is that life can hard and struggling as a broken-winged bird trying to fly but cannot.

   Lastly, Langston Hughes uses similes to create a very cold and sad mood in the poem. In the second stanza of the poem, the speaker says “Life is a barren field/ Frozen with snow.” What the speaker is trying to say is that live can and would be cold, nothing would grow within us without our dreams. Langston Hughes compares life to a barren field; empty, nothing but snow. The message is that if you let your dreams go, your life will be frozen as snow.

  In conclusion, through figurative language rhythm and rhyme, Langston Hughes uses a meaningful poem yet powerful. Dreams are an important thing in your life. Everyone should know that. Without dreams, we would not be or we are today.


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