What does the phrase "dry up like a raisin in the sun" mean? (2023)

Langston Hughes utilizes a comparison in his poem "Harlem": "Does it dry out, like a raisin in the sun?" Lines 2-3 Using this comparison, he expresses how dreaming may be both wonderful and harmful. A raisin is a dried grape that has been exposed to the sun. Hughes is demonstrating that dreams may be unpleasant. However, dreams can also be beneficial in that they give us hope and keep us motivated.

Dry means without water. When grapes are dried, their moisture content reduces dramatically. This reduction in moisture content helps preserve the fruit.

The phrase "like a raisin in the sun" comes from the Bible (Isaiah 7:10). Here, the prophet compares the Israelites when they were enslaved in Egypt to grapes being dried in the sun. He says that they will become like powder and be lost forever. But also that God will gather them for himself.

This quotation shows that dreams can be good or bad. If you interpret these lines as good dreams, then you'll be rewarded later on. If you interpret them as bad dreams, then you'll be punished later on.

In conclusion, this phrase means that your dreams will disappear if you don't remember them.

Table of Contents

  1. What does the phrase "dry up like a raisin in the sun" mean?
  2. Why do you think a raisin is used as a simile for dreams?
  3. What is the theme of A Raisin in the Sun?
  4. How is Langston Hughes's poem related to a raisin in the sun?
  5. What does the poet mean by "dries up like a raisin"?
  6. What does it mean when they say "Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"?
(Video) Dry Texting: What is He Really Saying with His One-Word Texts?

Why do you think a raisin is used as a simile for dreams?

A dream put on wait may "dry out like a raisin in the sun," according to the poem. A dried, rigid raisin is the sensory polar opposite of what it once was: a juicy, thirst-quenching green or red grape. So perhaps dreams that we struggle with feeling satisfied with are like dry, deadened raisins.

The phrase comes from a popular medieval French poem called The Raising of Lazarus by Saint John Damascene. It's based on a story in Jesus' life that occurred during his time on Earth. In this story, a rich man dies and is brought back to life by Jesus. During his revival, the man gives thanks to God and tells him he has enough faith to be raised from the dead. Then Jesus asks him why he didn't have faith when he was alive. The rich man replies that he had many possessions but no water to drink so he could not pray or have faith. This imagery is then used by Damascene to explain that although God loves us very much, if we lack hope, it is hard for him to heal us.

There are other theories about how the phrase came about. One theory says that it is because when grapes are drying on the vine, they often become flat like coins. This would make them similar to dreams when they are unable to retain their original shape.

What is the theme of A Raisin in the Sun?

A Raisin in the Sun is mostly about dreams, as the main characters try to overcome the terrible conditions that govern their life. The title of the piece alludes to a hypothesis notably made by Langston Hughes in a poem about dreams that were lost or postponed. In this case, the idea is that if you put away your dream for just one raisin-sized portion of time, it will become a grape, and so on until it's an entire fruit tree. Thus, the play is about perseverance and not giving up.

Furthermore, the play is also about family: parents trying to raise their children properly, even though they have little money; a sick father who tries his best to care for his family despite being ill; a mother who wants her son to go to college so he can better help her get by. It's a story about hope. Even though everything seems doomed to fail at first, the characters keep on trying new things until something works.

(Video) What Do You Dry First?

Finally, the play is also about black culture. There are references to other songs, dances, etc. that people of color developed over time because they needed them to survive in racist societies. A Raisin in the Sun is important because it shows that even though these cultures may seem useless or frivolous to others, they're very useful to those who have access to them only.

Overall, the theme of the play is about dreams.

How is Langston Hughes's poem related to a raisin in the sun?

Langston Hughes' poem "Montage of a Dream Deferred," written as a criticism of Harlem culture, serves as the epigraph to A Raisin in the Sun. The title of the play is derived straight from a passage in Langston Hughes' poem on postponed hopes, and the epigraph presents a question that the play seeks to answer.

Hughes, a black American poet who was born in 1902, grew up during the transition period between slavery and civil rights for blacks. He was educated at several universities including Howard University where he received his B.A. in literature in 1925. After graduating from Howard, he worked as a teacher and writer before being hired by newspapers to provide commentary on racial issues. In 1931, he became one of the first black people to write for the New York Daily News.

In 1945, Hughes published One-Way Ticket to Heaven, which included poems he had previously written. This book earned him recognition not only as a poet but also as an influential cultural figure in Harlem, New York City.

One year after publishing One-Way Ticket to Heaven, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 36. But even though he died before seeing the success of his play, he did manage to inspire many young artists in Harlem to follow their dreams.

(Video) Dry Places

In addition to writing poetry and journalism, Hughes participated in theater productions as a director, actor, and producer.

What does the poet mean by "dries up like a raisin"?

What does the poet mean when he says "dries up like a raisin in the sun" and "stinks like rotting flesh" in the poem "Harlem"? Hover to find out more. Who are the authorities? What do they say about black people with white friends? How does this information help you understand the poem better?

The lines refer to two men who, despite their social differences, have many things in common. They're both black and living in Harlem, New York. The poet is comparing them to a raisin and a grape that have very similar traits. They're both brown on the outside and white on the inside. Also, a raisin gets dry and hard when it's not used, just like a person after he dies. And lastly, a raisin stinks because it doesn't have any water flowing through its veins.

This knowledge helps us understand the poem better because we know what kind of people the men are. If you look at the line "raisins don't run with whites," then you can assume that these men aren't good friends.

Furthermore, if you think about it, grapes don't go bad after they're picked. They usually get eaten or made into wine. So, the fact that the poet compares the men to grapes shows that they're attractive objects that a woman would want to be around.

What does it mean when they say "Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"?

Raisin A dried-up grape is referred to as a raisin. It represents a long-sitting unrealized desire that loses its "juice" or spirit and then shrinks, much like a raisin. A postponed dream kills us, like a raisin in the sun. Because the discomfort is neglected, it will worsen and fester like a sore. At its worst, it can cause death.

(Video) "My Wife Has a Perfectly Dry P Word"

People say things about you from the moment you're born until you die. Not only what people say but how you react is all that matters. Nobody ever died of shame. So don't worry about what others think of you. They never did understand you, and they never will.

"He's not worth salt." This means that you aren't valuable enough to be sprinkled with salt. Salt was used as a ceremonial purifier in ancient times. This metaphor tells us that someone who isn't considered important by others should not attempt to make themselves important through self-aggrandizement or dishonesty.

"His heart is as hard as rock." This means that your friend doesn't have any feelings at all. He is cold and heartless. There is no trace of sympathy in him for anyone else. You would get along well with this person.

This means that your friend is ruthless and does not care who he hurts in order to achieve his goals.


1. Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own
(Amy Winehouse)
2. What are Wet & Dry Contacts
(HVAC School)
3. Do you know the meaning of "dry spell" ?
4. Hang Out to Dry Meaning | English Idioms | Sentence Examples and Origin
(Essential English Idioms and Phrases )
5. 'Til The Words Dry Out
(R.L. Beats - Topic)
6. Boyz II Men - Water Runs Dry
(Boyz II Men)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated: 07/08/2023

Views: 6355

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.