A Raisin in the Sun

We’re starting Raisin in the Sun today as a class.  Each student is getting a note-sheet for the characters in the play that they may use on their quizzes for the play.  Students were to turn in their Dream Deferred sheets toady.  We’re going to explore metaphor/symbolism this unit so we’ll be taking notes on those things as well.

In our reading we learned the conflicts of Walter, Beneatha, and Mama (Lena).  Lena is getting $10,000 from her husband’s life insurance and each of these three characters have a different American Dream that all requires at least a good portion of the money.

1st and 2nd hour were to turn in their homework today.  4th hour has their “Harlem” poem worksheet to turn in tomorrow.


Here is the worksheet:

Dream Deferred


Langston Hughes




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?



Responding to “Dream Deferred”                                Name _________________________

(15 points)


1.  List the verbs used to indicate what can happen to “a dream deferred.”




2.  What does the mention of Harlem, one of the most famous African American communities in the world, imply about the subject of the poem?





3.  What kind of dream do you think the poem is talking about?  You should have multiple answers for this question.





4.  Look back at your answers to the previous two questions and interpret the five similes in the poem.  What is Hughes suggesting about dreams with each simile?

a.         “Does it dry up/like a raisin in the sun?”





b.         “Or fester like a sore–/And then run?”





c.         “Does it stink like rotten meat?”





d.         “Or crust and sugar over–/like a syrupy sweet?”





e.         “Maybe it just sags/like a heavy load.”





5. Interpret the last line of the poem.  Think of more than one possible answer for what this could mean or suggest about dreams, or the person who has them.


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