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Dream Variations Summary & Analysis
by Langston Hughes

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“Dream Variations” was written by the American poet Langston Hughes. The poem's speaker dreams of dancing through the "white day" before resting at night, which is as "dark" as the speaker himself. The speaker’s "dreams" can be read as a metaphor for Black joy and Black survival: through his dancing, the speaker finds joy and freedom in spite of white society’s oppressive gaze, as well as a sense of belonging, safety, and shared identity in the Black community. “Dream Variations” was originally published in The Weary Blues (1926), Hughes’s first poetry collection.

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