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Discrimination In As I Grew Older By Langston Hughes

1096 words - 5 pages

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal’.”(King) Martin Luther’s word are still remember till this day, almost 50 years later. Years ago, rights between blacks and white where not equal. Black were treated as minorities and were not given the same opportunities the white people had. The poem I choose to analyze, “As I Grew Older”, speaks about the discrimination against blacks at that time. The author uses metaphors and other techniques to share with the reader his feeling about injustice towards the black race.
The writer of the poem is Langston Hughes. Since he was young, the color of his skin is what set him back. “He was black, poor, and full of dreams that were not likely to come true.”(Dyson) This poem relates those situations to the audience throught the use of metaphors. He begins the poem by speaking of a dream he had a long time ago. He compared the dream to the sun by the use of metaphors. The poem states, “But it was there then, In front of me, Bright like a sun— My dream.”(Hughes) The bright sun represents this dream which he had in front of him, clear and vivid. It seems as if the dream is reachable, allowing him to believe he is capable of accomplishing and reaching it. However, soon an obstacle appears which blocks him from being able to reach his goal.
The obstacle which appears is represented by a tall wall which blocks him from the sun. “The dream seemed very possible at first, but then the wall "rose slowly" showing that it seemed less and less likely as he grew up.”(Allen) The wall “Rose until it touched the sky”(Hughes) During the author’s time, it was difficult for his race to achieve many things because of the discrimination. The color of his skin presented a huge obstacle for him to reach those dreams. This poem not only represents his personal problem but can also represent the entire black community. “Being an African American during these times was often hard because there was so much injustice. Dreams were hard to achieve.”(Lawler) The poem presents these difficult situations through the use of the metaphors.
The poem continues by talking about the shawdow the wall cast upon him. He is now in darkness, far from reaching his goal. The darkness can symbolize saddness, depression, or just the relaization that his dream is far from him. The sun no longer shines on him, and now he is cosumed by darkness. He states. “I lie down in the shadow. No longer the light of my dream before me, Above me. Only the thick wall. Only the shadow.”(Hughes) The thick wall can represent the white race an all the restrictions that have been placed on the black race. Now it seems almost impossible to reach his goal. With a wall so thick and tall, his hope of ever accomplishing his desires, is lost. The shawdow takes over and reminds him that he will not be able to continue forward. However, he soon reaches the...

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