As I Grew Older

Topics: African American, Racism, Black people Pages: 3 (769 words) Published: November 19, 2014

“As I Grew Older,” by Langston Hughes is a poem about a young man is thinking about his goals and that he cannot achieve them because of racial prejudice. The theme of the poem is that prejudice is used to keep people from accomplishing their dreams. Hughes expresses this idea by using imagery, anaphora, and symbol. Throughout the poem, Hughes refers to different symbols to show the barriers between blacks and whites in society during that time period in the early 20th century.

In the first stanza of this poem, Hughes writes that his dream was: “in front of me, bright like a sun My dream.” (Line 5). Hughes’s dream is the dream of a non-racist society in America and the freedom for anyone to do what they choose and be treated equally. At the same time, Hughes’s dream can also be treated as Hughes’s future. Hughes’s dream first appeared to be “bright like the sun” because when you’re a child, you aren’t aware of what’s actually happening around you.. Hughes’s dream was bright because he wasn’t old enough to realize that there would be things in his way keeping him from his dream. Also, it’s important to note that Hughes’s says “My dream” to show possession of the idea he holds. A reason why Hughes’s writes “my dream” is because Hughes’s dream was different from a white man at the time. Facing discrimination throughout his life, Hughes’s continues to describe racism when Hughes’s writes “And then a wall rose, rose slowly, slowly, between me and my dream.” (Line 6) The wall Hughes’s refers to is the wall of discrimination. This wall slowly blocked his dream. Hughes’s describes the blocking slow to show the many small efforts people used to keep America segregated.

In the third stanza, Hughes’s writes that the wall “rose until it touched the sky. The wall. Shadow. I am black. I lie down in the shadow.” (Line 10) There are many things going on in this stanza that show Hughes’s place in society at that time and the extent of racism. First Hughes’s describes...
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