As I Grew Older – Langston Hughes’s poem As I Grew Older guides the reader throughout the rough life of a black man. Many black men did not have opportunities to experience their lives to the fullest, which the sun representing these dreams “Bright like a sun- my dream.” But the character in this poem is unable to reach the sun due to the “The Wall” which rose slowly. Langston’s use of repetition with the word slowly creates a certain sort of the loss of hope. With each slowly we see how the characters dream slowly fades away. Then the wall reaches its top… “Shadow. I am black” Langston is not saying that he is black due to the shadow, he is using the shadow as a way to show how his race is unable to let him reach for his dream. With no hope left in him the character lies down with the wall overtop of him and the shadow casting not light but the shade of race upon him “only the thick wall. only the shadow.” The character starts to curse upon his own hands “My hands! My dark hands!” Thinking that maybe if his hands were white he would be able to break down this wall of darkness. He try anyway “Break through the wall! Find my dream!” Without breaking though he wishes he could. Then suddenly the poem ends. Creating a sort of silence. Maybe not around the reader but in their head. The way Hughes is able to create this riot in your head is quite intriguing on a high level.