“Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes

Analysis of “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes
I) Life is like a staircase
II) Life is a journey with calamities. Some people may find themselves wanting to give up when everyday struggles become too much for others giving up is never an option. In the pome “mother to son” by Langhes Hughes one can see the love and care of a mother to her son. The mother tries to encourage her son who seems to have a difficult time by giving him advice from her experience in life. She tells her son never to give up as life is full of difficulties. In “Mother to son” by Langhes Hughes the author uses metaphors, repetition, and dialect to emphasize that one must keep fighting through struggles and never quit.
III) The mother describes the difficulties in life using several metaphors though out the poem.
a) The mother compares life as a staircase she said to her son: “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”(2) to emphasize that life is not smooth and easy.
b) Furthermore, the mother goes in detail in explaining how tough life can get through the specific description of the stair. She said: “It’s had tacks in it”(3),” And splinters”(4),” And boards torn up”(5), “And places with no carpet on the floor”(6), “Bare”(7).
c) The mother also describes life uncertainty through the darkness of the stair she said: “And sometimes goin’ in the dark”(12) “Where there ain’t been no light”(13).
IV) The speaker also uses repetition to give more emphases on no matter how life gets difficult one must keep striving.
a) The mother said: “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair”. (2) at the beginning and end of the poem to show the importance of the advice.
b) The mother also said:”I’se been a-climbin’ on,”(9),”For I’se still goin’, honey,”(18),”I’se still climbin’,”(19). This shows the mother is also having difficulty in her life but, she chooses never to give up.
c) another repetition in the poem “So boy, don’t you turn back.”(14), “Don’t you set down on the steps”(15) “Don’t you fall now”(17). represent the main Idea of the pome in keeping moving and holding on.
V) The author use dialect which helps to create an image for the character.
a) The word such as “ain’t” and leaving the letter “g” in the words explain the character is African American.
b) The dialect not only creates the image for the character but also show the suffering of African Americans and try to motive the community. The mother said:”I’se still climbin’”(19).
c) The mother says; “Well, son, I’ll tell you:”, and”For I’se still goin’, honey” shows the love and constant worry of a mother for her son.
VI) To conclude, “In mother to son” by Langhes Hughes one can see an emotional bond between mother and son. The mother tries to inspire the son that life is never easy, and one must always be strong through difficulty.The author uses metaphors, repetition, and dialect to show one should never lose hope and give up in difficult times.

Work Cited

Miller, W.Jason. ““Don’t Turn Back”: Langston Hughes, Barack Obama, and Martin Luther King, Jr.” African American Review, vol. 46, no. 2/3, Summer/Fall2013 2013, pp. 425–438.

Hughes, Langston. “Mother to Son by Langston Hughes.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, 2016, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47559/mother-to-son.

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