Dream Variation (poem) Essay Questions

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Questions After reading the poem ?Dream Variation? by Langston Hughes, I had somewhat of an overall negative feeling because the poem included the reality of the life of an average slave. The majority of slaves do not have such a happy life, or even a happy death. What is very ironic about the poem is the last line, ?That is my dream!? The use of the sarcasm really shocked me at a time when least expected. It appeared as though Langston Hughes had not written the words before the last line. When I look deep enough into the poem I see it has a blues style as does many other poems that Langston Hughes has created. His poems tend to reflect the struggles of his early childhood. For example, since his mother was an actress, she wasn?t around that much to give him enough attention. In addition to being neglected by his mother, he was abused by his father.

To conclude, ?Dream Variation,? although a very well written and insightful poem, it emits a negative undertone as a result of Langston Hughes childhood.

The poem was written in a very complex manner, which was meant to have two meanings. By casually reading the poem it would be about the author enjoying the best day of his life. Looking and reading diligently, will get you that the poem does not only mean the man enjoying the best time of his life, but it also is about a slave dying slowly like Christ on the cross. Working hard on the plantations by tilling, which associates with the word ?till? in the poem and, finally the evening of his life come gently, which corresponds to the line ?Beneath a tall tree? (death). Thus, the poem can mean two things, a man/the author enjoying the best day of his life, and the struggle of a common African slave, which continues to make this poem excellently written.