A Dream Deferred No More & Fences

A Dream Deferred No More & Fences

A Dream Deferred No More

A Dream Deferred No More You may write about all three characters, or you may choose just one or two.  You will need three body paragraphs.

Fences Final Essay

Directions: For this essay, you will answer the question that Langston Hughes asks us in his poem, “Harlem”: What happens to a dream deferred?



Langston Hughes’ poem, “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? *set aside



How does Langston Hughes’ poem relate to the players in August Wilson’s play, Fences? Consider how dreams deferred impact Troy, Rose, and Cory in Fences. Brainstorm here: Troy:



**You may write about all three characters, or you may choose just one or two. You will need three body paragraphs.

Now begin writing your paper. Intro: Discuss “Harlem” and its messages and how it could relate to people of color in the 1930s-1960s. (You know a lot about this from our Harlem Renaissance Slideshow .) Then lead in to the topics you will discuss in your essay, and finally, your THESIS.

Body: Start with a claim. Support the claim using two pieces of evidence per body paragraph. Warrant by explaining how your evidence from Fences relates back to “Harlem.”


Explain how it’s important for people to have dreams, and consider a world in which the characters you focused on in your essay had a better chance of success. End by recommending ideas for ending deferred dreams for people of color or white people or yourselves today.

The American experience has always been a very specific one. It normally depends on one’s location, background, and the reality that makes one’s American experience different from their neighbor. But ever since the country was discovered, Americans have written their perspectives down in order to share their experience with everyone else.

Within August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play ‘Fences’, he explores the struggles of the black American family after the second world war. In his play, his characters explain and experience the countless challenges they face simply for being African American in 1957 urban America. In addition to showcasing the black American life, Wilson also depicts the generational gap and division within the black community at a historical time in American history. The gap between the younger generation and their elders during the beginning of the civil rights era.