Harlem (Dream Deferred)
Our speaker of "Harlem" presents us with several juicy philosophical questions about dreams. For example, are dreams meant to be thought about or acted upon? Is it a bad thing never to pursue a dream? What happens when someone else prevents you from pursuing your dreams? Our speaker suggests that sometimes we don't have any choice but to defer our dreams, which is quite a tragedy.
Questions About Choices
- Is our speaker thinking about people who defer their own dreams or people who delay the dreams of others?
- Is it more of a choice to act on dreams or to defer dreams?
- Of the four similes in this poem, which ones involve choice and free will?
Chew on This
Explosion happens accidentally. The final line of "Harlem" makes us think that dreaming is a natural thing that happens out of necessity rather than choice.