A Compare and Contrast Analysis of Sandra Cisneros' "The House on Mango Street" and Langston Hughes' "A Dream Deferred"

Good Essays
In the short story "The House on Mango Street" Sandra Cisneros unfolds her childhood memories where she and her family struggled with poor living conditions on the way to their own house, and she seems to suffer from it more than anyone of the family. When one day they finally get the house of their own and her family seems to be ready to settle with it, she continues suffering because it 's not the house she imagined and built up in her dreams. At that point Cisneros obtains her dream to be fulfilled: she decides that whatever happens, she must have her dream house. Whereas Cisneros talks about a dream 's birth, Langston Hughes in his poem "A Dream Deferred" investigates the destiny of a dream. Predicting what could happen to a dream that is not yet realized, he tries to measure the impact of a dream in our life. At first sight, these two works might seem completely different; however, upon a closer look it 's obvious that they are closely connected: Cisneros tells us what led her to obtain a dream, whereas Hughes contemplates on continuation of a dream 's existence.

In "The House on Mango Street" the author tells us how she found her dream. Her large family had to move all the time in search of a decent place to live. Experiencing what not having her own place is like, moving all the time and being ashamed of her shelters, Sandra Cisneros defines the features of the house of her dream. It has to be not just her own place to live, but also a place that she could be proud of. She describes her dream house: "inside it would have real stairs, not a hallway stairs, but stairs inside like the houses on TV"; it "would be white with trees around it, a great big yard and grass growing without a fence"(501). Moreover, she says it has to be the house "...one I could point to" (Cisneros 502). Even though these features are not necessities for living, the author 's own dream becomes her necessity to be fulfilled.

In "A Dream Deferred" the author proposes a lot of theories



Cited: Cisneros, Sandra. "The House on Mango Street". 40 Short Stories. Ed. Beverly Lawn. New York: Bedford, 2001 Hughes, Langston. "A Dream Deferred".

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    In the short story "The House on Mango Street" Sandra Cisneros unfolds her childhood memories where she and her family struggled with poor living conditions on the way to their own house, and she seems to suffer from it more than anyone of the family. When one day they finally get the house of their own and her family seems to be ready to settle with it, she continues suffering because it 's not "the house we 'd thought we 'd get" (501), the one she imagined and built up in her dreams. At that point Cisneros obtains her dream to be fulfilled: she decides that whatever happens, she must have the house of her dream. This difference between her dream and reality is quite obvious and seems to upset her a lot; however, the impact of it is tremendous because it caused her to obtain the energy necessary for a dream 's fulfillment.…

    • 492 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In The House on Mango Street, the author Sandra Cisneros takes you into a completely different world through the eyes of a young, insecure Esperanza growing up in a poor section of Chicago. A vignette that especially stood out was “Four Skinny Trees”. In this vignette Esperanza is describing four skinny trees that are overlooked and underappreciated. Cisneros uses powerful personification techniques that not only create vivid images but trigger intense reactions. Her words trigger despair and hope, fear and courage, strength and weakness. Esperanza is connected to these trees on an emotional level because what she is imagining in these trees is what she sees in herself. The trees served as emotional guides teaching Esperanza to have confidence.…

    • 539 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Today when people hear Harlem they run for cover. However, in the early 20th century, Harlem was a great opportunity for many black people in America. Unfortunately, because of overcrowding, exploitation, and poverty, their dream of a better life was delayed. Many poems written by Langston Hughes, an African American poet, reflect this situation. Hughes uses intense tone and diction to aid in the unearthing of the tribulations of the blacks in North America at the time period of the 20th century. These situations are most evident in the poems A dream deferred, and dream variation.…

    • 906 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Dreams change whether we want them to or not, but how might dreams change if they are ignored? Langston Hughes describes a dream deferred in his poem, "Harlem: A Dream Deferred", "What happens to a dream deferred?”; “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?" He compares a dream deferred to various concepts. In connection to the play, written by Lorraine Hansberry, "A Raisin in the Sun" the Younger family, an impecunious African-American family, struggle in achieving their dreams, having to postpone them. Although the Younger family each face the same challenge, character Walter Younger is unalike the rest as his dreams deferred impact his personality and his actions. I argue that Walter Younger best illustrates the central theme of Hughes’…

    • 134 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In his poem “A Dream Deferred,” Langston Hughes utilizes vivid sensory imagery and similes to explore the various phases of a dream deferred. Before I wrote my stylistic imitation, one of my friends suggested I look carefully at the historical context surrounding this poem’s publication. This poem was written right before the Civil Rights Movement, during a time when racial tensions were high in the U.S. and this got me thinking about movements today. Recently, there has been an increased awareness of the rampant police brutality in America, and as I was contemplating the historical context of my poem today, I immediately thought of the #BlackLivesMatterMovement today, which is why I titled my imitation “Matter.” Hughes lived in a society where the dreams of Black people for true liberty and equality were constantly de-valued. Similarly, today, it is clear that racism and systematic oppression still exists. While black and brown people are being shot down by corrupt police officials, these same officials are being acquitted of their crimes, and our cries for justice are not answered. This is what I tried to draw…

    • 944 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Essay on Langston Hughes

    • 2258 Words
    • 10 Pages

    Many leaders in today’s society possess characteristics that determine how they are either chosen or self-made. These characteristics could range from being a charismatic, transformational, motivational, or influential leader. Each has its own meaning, but it is possible for leaders to possess more than one characteristic. Being a charismatic leader consists of having a charming and colorful personality. As the text reads, “In the study of leadership, charisma is a special quality of leaders whose purposes, powers, and extraordinary determination differentiate them from others."…

    • 2258 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The family had dreamed of a house that they could call their own and didn’t have to pay rent to anyone or keep moving around every year. This dream house would have it all running water and pipes that works, and many bathrooms, and “stairs inside like the house on TV”. The house would be a big white house with a big backyard and trees all around. This was the house that the author dreamt for her family but the realty was when they finally moved in to house was nothing that she dreamt.…

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902 and died in New York City, New York on May 22, 1967. His father’s name was James Nathaniel and his mother’s name was Carrie Mercer Langston Hughes. His parents separated not to long after he was born. His father later moved to Cuba and later permanently lived in Mexico, where he lived the rest of his life working as an attorney and landowner. He eventually traveled to Mexico to visit his father who moved when his parents separated from each but luckily for Langston, within a few years of his visit to Mexico, he would find himself at the center of a cultural flowering in New York City's historically black neighborhood that is famously known as Harlem. Hughes's poetry…

    • 539 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The poem “Harlem” tries to define what happens to a “Dream’s Deferred”. Foremost the poem explores the problems within trying to find the American dream by asking what happen to a dream over time. Nerveless, the poem has descripted imagery that can be interpreted to try to answer the question. The poem explores the problems with finding the American dream by asking questions that all interpret to what happens to those dreams that never come true.…

    • 142 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Langston Hughes’s poem” Harlem”, ask a great question, what happens to a dream deferred? We start out early in our lives with an endless amount of dreams for the future. Dreams for ourselves and dreams on a global scale. As children we dream of being a fireman, a police officer, teacher, or an astronaut. On a global scale we dream of peace and equality. What becomes of those dreams when they are postponed and overdue?…

    • 302 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The introductory paragraph of “The House on Mango Street” exemplifies how the novel is centralized on the setting. In this paragraph, the narrator explains how her family has been constantly moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. She explains that moving to their new home on Mango Street was nothing out of the ordinary. She does this by pointing out that every time they moved, there happened to be an additional member within the family. The manner in which the narrator describes her family’s consistency of moving, gives the impression that it is the most normal thing in the world. For example, the narrator states in the text that before moving to Mango Street, “we lived on Loomis on the third floor, and before that we lived on Keeler. Before Keeler it was Paulina, and before that I can’t remember.” By stating some of the previous places where they have lived, and by reaching a point where she cannot even remember another place prior to living in ‘Paulina’, the narrator strongly emphasizes the fact that moving from place to…

    • 963 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the poem “Harlem ( A Dream Deferred)” by Langston Hughes, he talks about dreams; dreams that society has, dreams that he has. Not a dream that you have while you're sleeping but a dream that you have and want to pursue. He addresses the questions of what happens when a person's dreams are destroyed. The author uses a lot of visual, descriptive language to try and show that nothing good can come from not achieving your dreams. For example, he compares not realizing a dream to the stench of rotten meat, which suggest the consequence is negative. None of the language in the poem reflects anything positive about a dream deferred.…

    • 257 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Dreams are among one of the most essential things to acquire for the sake of purposeful individualistic achievements. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. The hopes and aspirations that have been conjured by an individual serve as motivational forces that drive the person toward their goals. Thus, dreaming can be considered as one of life’s basic necessities. As the speaker in “Harlem” explores the outcomes of postponed dreams, various comparisons have been made throughout the poem in regard to basic, everyday tasks. The speaker utilizes similes that compare the deferred dreams to that of “[rotting] meat” (2.6.1019), crusting “syrup” (2.8.1019), and sagging “like a heavy load” (2.10.1019). These illustrations provide the reader with images of simple and ordinary tasks. Although carrying, eating, and cooking are insubstantial duties, they are necessary skills to make a living. With this, the speaker argues that dreams are a significant part of one’s life.…

    • 1387 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The poem A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes basically describes what happens to dreams when they are put on hold. The speaker in the poem originally entitled it Harlem, which is the capital of African-American life in the United States. The title was changed to accommodate all dreams in general, and what happens when people postpone making them come true. The speakers attitude toward the poem is an advice-giving attitude. The poet doesnt want people to postpone getting what they want. The poem is written in an informative/caring tone to help people live the lives they dream of having.…

    • 700 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    How America Should Be

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages

    First, I’m going to be explaining about what the dream means to Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes has a good way with words. In the first paragraph he talks about how he wants America to be the dream that it was meant to be. Pretty much the way that I think Langston feels about America is that he believes that everyone should have the opportunity of the American dream and have equal rights. It’s saying that there are many people who’ve come here with hopes and dreams, and they’re being let down. He’s also saying that there is an economic disparity between people. In essence the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer because there is not equal opportunity.…

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays