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Montage on a dream deferred

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Pre-reading activity for A Raisin in the Sun

Pre-reading activity for A Raisin in the Sun

Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual

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  • 1. Montage on a Dream Deferred Langston Hughes
  • 2. The poem and the play • A portion of this poem is the preface to the play. • What is the purpose of the preface? • Answer: a statement preliminary or introductory to an article, book, or speech, telling its subject, purpose, and plan
  • 3. I, too sing America, • I, too, sing America. • I am the darker brother. • They send me to eat in the kitchen • When company comes, • But I laugh, • And grow strong. • Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table • When company comes. • Nobody’ll dare • Say to me • “Eat in the kitchen,” • Then. • • Besides, • They’ll see how beautiful I • am • And be ashamed -- • I, too am America.
  • 4. Harlem • “Harlem” • • What happens to a dream deferred? • Does it dry up • Like a raisin in the sun? • Or fester like a sore— • And then run? • Does it stink like rotten meat? • Or crust and sugar over – • like a syrupy sweet? • Maybe it just sags • like a heavy load. • Or does it explode?
  • 5. Discussion • Why do you think Hansberry chose this poem as her preface? • What do the following words mean: defer, fester, Montage? • Answers: • “deferred” – put off to a future time; postpone; delay • “fester” – to form pus; ulcerate; to grow embittered; to decay • “Montage” – the art of making a composite picture by bringing together into a single composition a number of different pictures so that they are blended to form a whole while remaining distinct
  • 6. Harlem • “Harlem” • • What happens to a dream deferred? • Does it dry up • Like a raisin in the sun? • Or fester like a sore— • And then run? • Does it stink like rotten meat? • Or crust and sugar over – • like a syrupy sweet? • Maybe it just sags • like a heavy load. • Or does it explode?
  • 7. Discussion Continued • What central question does the poem ask? • Rather than present the audience with the answer to the poem’s central question, Hughes develops the poem using a series of questions. Analyze the similes and metaphors.
  • 8. Harlem • “Harlem” • • What happens to a dream deferred? • Does it dry up • Like a raisin in the sun? • Or fester like a sore— • And then run? • Does it stink like rotten meat? • Or crust and sugar over – • like a syrupy sweet? • Maybe it just sags • like a heavy load. • Or does it explode?
  • 9. Final Discussion • Although the poem is phrased as a list of questions, Hughes is making a statement. • What is Hughes’ message about dreams deferred? • How do “dreams deferred” relate to the American Dream?
  • 10. Final Discussion • Although the poem is phrased as a list of questions, Hughes is making a statement. • What is Hughes’ message about dreams deferred? • How do “dreams deferred” relate to the American Dream?