Literary Analysis - As i Grew Older

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Lauren Henderson B. Griffin English 1101 18 July 2011 “What Does Growing Old Truly Mean?” What does it mean to grow old? Is this implying growing older in age or is there a deeper meaning? I might be hard for one to understand growing older in terms that go beyond age, and in “As I Grew Older” by Langston Hughes, he explains this deeper meaning of aging. As you read this piece of literature, it is clear that it exerts many different meaning about what growing old really means. Some of these include segregation because of race, problems African-Americans endured because of prejudice acts made by others, discrimination which included the dehumanization of Blacks with the denial of basic freedoms and rights, and a struggling man trying to become a successful human being. Hughes contrasts between both good and bad things that occur in this text, shows how growing “As I Grew Older,” isn’t merely about an age number, but the obstacles to his growth as an individual, and a member of society and could very well be motivation for anyone who is feeling below themselves. One can imply that “As I Grew Older” is a piece of literature that describes troubles that African-Americans faced during segregation. Blacks were not given the same rights as whites. As stated earlier, it was a sense of dehumanization. Everything was separate including schools, rest rooms, water fountains, and even restaurants. Blacks were not permitted to ride in certain sections on the public bus. Shockingly, a single person was not enforcing these segregation laws but it was a part of the Southern culture. “The wall” is something that Hughes describes in the poem as a barrier between him and his dreams (line 12). This wall could have very well been whites, or the Jim Crow laws, which directly enforced segregation or maybe this wall was a “racial mountain” in which Hughes constantly spoke of.
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