His poems were much influenced by the African-American Jazz Music and the contents were radical. However, this was not given much attention. Because “his radical poetry was neglected,” a tone of frustration and the willingness to revolt are very evident in his poem, “Harlem” (Dawahare 21). The series of questions would lead the readers to realize the climax. “Harlem” is a poem which describes a people full of longing to be truly free from discrimination and marginalization; their ideals and dream of social equity is prevalent amidst the oppression of the white American community.
The “dream” (Hughes line 1) being referred by Hughes is the yearning of the black Americans to equality; a dream stressing out that they too, are people with feelings and intellect and not mere slaves that the whites made them to be. The onset of abolitionism gave the African-Americans liberty and the government gave them rights that they were not able to exercise before such as the right to vote and the right to own a property. Despite of the government abolishing the slavery, they could not achieve fully what they really wanted. Hughes used images that appeal to the senses as if the dream he is talking about is tangible; can be seen and felt. The second “big question” mentioned in the poem: “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” (Hughes 2) might suggest a very symbolic representation of an African American ideal. Like a grape losing its juice when exposed to the sun for a long time, a dream may lose its vitality if it is not realized in time. Putting together side by side two very unlike objects which seem to set in the opposite poles adds more effect in the delivery of the message; a very large object, powerful, and made as a god by ancient people (the sun), and an object made from a preserved fruit, almost unnoticeable (the raisin). Next symbolism that can be