Short Essay on Shiloh, The Lesson and Dream Deferred

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The three works Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason, The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara, and Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes all explore themes of values, morals, beliefs, and culture. Shiloh follows a couple who discover they have different values and beliefs, The Lesson is about a teacher who tries to impart wisdom on the youth in her community, and Dream Deferred questions what happens when one delays their values. The works ask the question of whether it is right to disrespect others based on differences in values or culture. In Shiloh, the main characters’ differences cause tension in their marriage, while in The Lesson, the teacher tries to show her students the value of education and knowledge. Dream Deferred suggests that delaying one’s values can have negative consequences. Overall, these works examine the importance of understanding and respecting different values and beliefs.

Table of Content

The purpose of my essay is to analyze three literary works: “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason, “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara, and “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes. These pieces all explore themes related to values, morals, beliefs, and cultural customs. In the story “Shiloh,” a couple in a community confronts the realization that their values, morals, and beliefs differ from each other. In “The Lesson,” we follow a teacher’s efforts to empower the youth in her community. Meanwhile, Langston Hughes’ poem “Dream Deferred” raises questions about the consequences of delaying one’s values and offers alternative perspectives. Is it acceptable to scorn or disrespect others just because they do not possess knowledge or interest in the same values, morals, beliefs, or culture? Personally speaking, I believe that everyone has the right to their own viewpoints and should be treated with respect accordingly.

Leroy, a professional trucker, has been injured in an accident and may no longer be able to drive his large truck. Consequently, he spends most of his time at home now. This is a new situation for Leroy, and Norma Jean is also not used to having him at home all the time. This sudden change makes her feel uncomfortable. Norma Jean works at Rexall, a drugstore, where she often receives unexpected visits from her critical mother Mabel Beasley regarding her housekeeping skills.

Since Leroy hurt his leg in the accident, he has been undergoing physical therapy. As part of his therapy routine, Norma Jean starts exercising and building up her pectoral muscles by lifting dumbbells.

During this period of reflection on things he seldom noticed before due to being on the road so often, Leroy realizes how much both Norma Jean and their marriage have changed over time.

While contemplating these changes,
Norma Jean casually brings up her work and talks about different stages of complexion: creams, toners, and moisturizers. Even though cosmetics are unfamiliar territory for Leroy,
he can make connections with other petroleum products like axle grease and diesel fuels that he’s more familiar with.

Despite their differing perspectives,
Norma Jean and Leroy manage to connect with each other and appreciate
the advantages of petroleum products.
The author uses literature
to illustrate how Norma Jean and Leroy find common ground even when they view things differently.

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Short Essay on Shiloh, The Lesson and Dream Deferred. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from

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