Montage of a Dream Deferred Criticism

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Montage of a Dream Deferred was first published in 1951, at a time when Hughes was already recognized as one of the most important literary figures of the Harlem Renaissance. In addition, many of the poems in Montage of a Dream Deferred had already seen publication in various magazines, though some were slightly altered for their appearance in book form. For these reasons, the critical reception of Montage of a Dream Deferred was to some extent colored by pre-existing views of Hughes's work and the public's prior exposure to many parts of the book; this might help explain why initial reviews of the book were, according to biographer and anthologist Arnold Rampersad, generally "lukewarm."

Critics were often quick to note the strong musical influence seen in the book's poems. In an unsigned review for Booklist, the critic notes, "The persistent beat and rhythm of jazz, boogie-woogie and...

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This section contains 445 words
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Buy the Montage of a Dream Deferred Study Guide
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