A. The notion that Hughes lives in a fantasy world rather than reality.
B. The idea that the action of the poem takes place at night.
C. The belief that dreams often remain unrealized due to oppression.
D. The fact that equality is a desired but seemingly unattainable goal.
The answer is D: The repetition of the word “dream” in Langston Hughes’s poem emphasizes the fact that equality is a desired but seemingly unattainable goal.
About the author: Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes is an African-American novelist, poet, playwright and story writer. His ancestors were from Africa who was taken to America as slaves. Hughes went back to West Africa to understand his culture and origins.
As most black people were ill-treated at that time, his travel, poems and stories helped him, and other African-Americans see themselves with pride, as a part of a much larger group of people in the world.
He was born in 1902 in Missouri. Langston Hughes’ father was very upset about racism in America and moved to Mexico after leaving his family. He was cared for by his grandmother, who told him stories in his childhood.
After the death of his grandmother, he moved around for quite some time before settling in Cleveland with his mother, who had remarried. He was often left alone at home as his mother was working, but despite his difficult childhood, he expressed himself through poems and stories.
Langston also helped other African-Americans and later wrote stories about them as well. He was affected by his father’s hatred of their own people and wrote the poem – My People.
His first book – “The Weary Blues” was published in 1926 and in 1930 his first novel “Not Without Laughter” was published, for which he won the Harmon medal.
His writing formed a crucial part of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1960 he was awarded the “Spingarn Medal” and then later became a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
He helped a lot of African-Americans particularly young black writers He tried to instil a feeling of pride among the young black people and dissuaded hatred of themselves due to the prejudices of others.
His works mostly revolve around African-Americans, their trials, their wishes, their aspirations and the stories his grandmother told him.
The theme of Langston Hughes’s poem “I Dream a World”
The poem “I Dream a World” is full of skepticism as well as a hope while exploring racial boundaries. It is written in the first person, and the author talks about wanting to live in freedom and harmony. But the reality was that the racial prejudice interfered with that peace and harmony.
Hughes is dreaming of a perfect world and gives a moral opinion of greed as something that takes parts away from our soul. The poem starts with the author hoping for something better from the world.
He dreams of a world where men don’t discriminate against other races – specifically the African-Americans who weren’t even treated as citizens of the USA. In such a world there would be peace and love that would wipe out the discrimination. The whites would love the black people and peace would prevail.
The poet dreams of a world where every man knows freedom, without greed and avarice. Unlike what the African-Americans faced daily.
They were slaves and then after that, weren’t looked at as equals. They were enslaved due to the white man’s greed, that allowed them to get work without paying the workers.
The poet desired that blacks were allowed the freedom to go anywhere, freedom to express what they wanted without fear of retribution. Hughes hoped that it wouldn’t be greed that would rule people’s lives and desired a world where greed wouldn’t override a person.
He wishes that in this perfect world, people of all races, black or white, about Caucasians and African-Americans, would be free and share the resources. In Hughes’ time the white man ruled, and all the resources belonged to him.
The black people didn’t have many rights, much less access to proper resources like education, jobs etc. There would be no discrimination or restriction in the perfect world desired by Hughes.
He also says that in such a world there would be no misery but only joy. And such joy would be sufficient to meet the needs of all the people. The central theme throughout the poem is of equality.
In the ideal world, every person would be equal and work towards the betterment of the community as a whole, a community undivided by races.
What does “dream” emphasize in the poem?
The word dream emphasizes what the author hopes and wishes for. He desires equality but at the same time is aware that it may be unattainable. As he continuously uses the phrase I dream, it means that whatever he says, the reality is very different from it.
The poet speaks with the purpose of informing all, how he wants the world to be. He talks about how the world should be and how people must treat one another. He still hopes that one day, pain of his people will end, and they will find acceptance and peace by other races.
In the poem, Langston Hughes dreams of a world where a man lives harmoniously with other men. He is happy that no one looks down upon anyone else. He further states that in his dream, the world insists upon love and peace.
Such a statement by Hughes and the repetition of the phrase “I dream a world” conveys that the current reality is not same. Men are looked down upon because of their skin color. In the real world, certain men enjoy freedom. Hughes dreams of a world where humanity isn’t marred by greed.
In his poem, “I Dream a World”, the poet talks about how he wishes for a world that is full of love and happiness, and with the repetition of the word dream, the poet emphasizes that this dream will probably never realize. The poet continues to wish for such utopia, but he realizes that it may never come to pass.
- About the I Dream a World: Taken from radfordhs.org
- About the author: Langston Hughes: Retrieved from wikipedia.org
- The poem analysis of “I Dream a World”: Taken from poemanalysis.com