In the poem I, too and As I grew older, the poet uses different metaphors to explore the motif of the dream – a reference of everyone is treated equally and no racism in the society.
In the poem As I grew older, the poet is trying to convey no matter what stands in the way of your dream, you can always find your dream and fight for it. In the first stanza, the poet writes his dream as ” bright like a sun”. His dream not only refers to his personal future but also a non- racist society where everyone is treated equally. Then the change in the situation pushes him away from achieving his dream “wall rose.” The wall symbols the discrimination and segregation of different races in the society, as Hughs continually wrote: rose slowly”, refers to the small efforts that the public put in segregate America. This “wall” creates “shadow” which envelope the poet and his people, indicating the restrictions and struggles black people met in the period. The dream is now ” above him”, which is far away and seems impossible to achieve. However, the poem starts to transit as Hughs describes ” My hands! My dark hands! Breakthrough the walls!” The poet utilizes his won hand to indicate the thousand and millions of black hands behind him, as well as his own culture. The black minorities insist on their dreams even if the reality is in a low condition and tough. In the end, Hugh displays his dream as images: “Into a thousand lights of sun, Into a thousand whirling dreams of Sun!” The sun serves as a symbolism which is unreachable but at the same time, it brings hope and warmth to the people. The dream is being reunited eventually, although it is still too far to reach, it is shining brighter.
In the poem I, Too, Hugh defined black identities in relation to the expectation of the white minority. In the first stanza, he directly wrote ” I, too, sing America. ” As part of the American society, the sentence highlights black people’s belongings in the nation. However, in the second stanza, ” They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes” labels the exclusion of black people in a normal American family. This is an extended metaphor, even though the white and black are living in the same family, they neglect black’s contribution by segregate the dining place. The poet, later on, said ” and eat well, and grow strong”, which serves as a response to the racism in the society with not giving up and lose faith. The fourth stanza shows the duality of the African American dream when Hugh wrote” they will see how beautiful I am and be ashamed”. It indicates the faith of the poet and the black minority behind him. They preserved through the injustice of racism and have the faith to change the present situation.