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Find the answer key for the topic “Dreams” below:
Note: Be prepared to share your original ideas in a class discussion.
Discussion Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. What do you feel after you wake up from a dream? How is it similar or different from the feelings that the speaker of “Dreams” may experience?
Ans: After waking up from a dream, one may feel a range of emotions such as confusion, disorientation, relief, or even lingering emotions from the dream itself. The speaker in the poem “Dreams” by Langston Hughes may experience similar feelings after waking up from a dream. In the poem, the speaker describes dreams as “broken-winged birds” that “cannot fly.” This suggests a sense of disappointment or frustration upon waking up and realizing that dreams are not easily attainable or may not come true. Both the reader and the speaker may share a sense of longing or yearning for something more.
Q.2. In your opinion, what is the relationship between our dreams and our lives? How did reading this poem change your opinion or understanding of dreams?
Ans: The relationship between our dreams and our lives is complex and subjective. Dreams can be seen as reflections of our subconscious desires, fears, and experiences. They can provide insights into our inner thoughts and emotions that we might not be aware of in our waking lives. Reading the poem “Dreams” by Langston Hughes might change one’s understanding of dreams by highlighting their significance in shaping our aspirations and hopes for a better future.
Q.3. In the context of this poem, what does it mean to feel alone? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: In the context of this poem, feeling alone refers to experiencing isolation or detachment from others due to unfulfilled dreams or aspirations. The evidence from this text is found in lines such as “Hold fast to dreams / For when dreams go / Life is a barren field / Frozen with snow.” These lines suggest that without dreams, life becomes empty and devoid of meaning or purpose, leading to feelings of loneliness.
Additionally, personal experiences can also contribute to understanding what it means to feel alone in relation to unfulfilled dreams. Many individuals have experienced moments where they felt disconnected from others because their aspirations were not understood or supported by those around them.
Literature, art, and history also provide examples where individuals who pursued unconventional paths faced isolation due to their unique visions or ambitions. For instance, Vincent van Gogh’s artistic endeavors were often misunderstood during his lifetime which led him to feel alone. These examples further support the idea that feeling alone can stem from a sense of being different or not fitting into societal norms.
Q.4. How might the speaker’s age influence her perspective and reflections on dreams in this poem?
Ans: The speaker’s age can influence her perspective and reflections on dreams in this poem. As one grows older, one may have experienced more disappointments or setbacks in pursuing their dreams. This accumulation of life experiences can shape one’s perspective and lead to a more realistic or cynical outlook on dreams.
Assessment Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. PART A: Which TWO of the following statements best describe the themes of the poem?
-Life is fleeting and so we must strive to live to the fullest.
-People seek comfort in dreams and in the past when experiencing grief and loneliness.
Q.2. PART B: Which TWO of the following quotes best support the answers to Part A?
-“the place where the children / we were / rock in the arms of the children / we have
become.” (Lines 3-6)
-“in their migrations, / as birds whose deaths we learn of/by the single feather” (Lines
Q.3. PART A: How does the word choice in stanza 3 develop the tone of the poem?
Ans: It extends the gloomy, depressed tone developed previously.
Q.4. PART B: Which detail from the poem best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “They are as irretrievable as sand” (Line 14)
Q.5. How does stanza 4 contribute to the development of the poem’s meaning?
Ans: It conveys how dreams can be painful because they emphasize absence.
Q.6. The poet uses the images of migrations, sand, and the tail of a comet to describe dreams. How does word choice impact the tone of the poem? Support your answer by citing multiple examples of word choice.
Ans: The word choice in the poem impacts the tone by creating a sense of mystery, transience, and longing associated with dreams.
Here are some examples of word choices and how they contribute to the overall tone:
“afterlife” (line 2): This word choice suggests that dreams hold a connection to an existence beyond the physical world, imbuing them with a sense of significance and depth.
“rock” (line 4): By using the word “rock” to describe the motion of the children in the arms of their dreams, the poet evokes a gentle, comforting image. It conveys a sense of security and peace, enhancing the tone of tranquility and nostalgia.
“migrations” (line 7): Describing dreams as “leaves in their migrations” creates an image of movement and change. It implies that dreams are constantly shifting and evolving, contributing to the tone of fluidity and unpredictability.
“irretrievable” (line 14): This word choice emphasizes the fleeting nature of dreams. It suggests that once dreams have passed, they cannot be recovered or fully grasped, adding to the tone of wistfulness and longing.
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In CommonLit, “Dreams” is one of the students’ favorite poems authored by Linda Pastan for grade 12 students.
This is a short poem about the nature of dreams.
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