Mother to Son

790 Words Nov 7th, 2012 4 Pages
McClendon, Jeremy
Eng 104
Professor miller
October 16, 2012

The poem “Mother to Son”, by Langston Hughes, is an inspiring poem. It is the epitome of what every parent should instill within their child and that is the success of our children. Langston Hughes was born in 1902 and was a well-known poet during the Harlem Renaissance. His poems were not personalized but spoke for all African Americans alike. In this poem there is significant meaning from a loving mother to her son through language, metaphors, imagery repetition and symbolism. The advice given in this poem is that life is like climbing stairs, it is not easy and sometimes you will stumble but you get back up and keep climbing those stairs.
The poem is about a mother’s
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“Bare” being on a line of its own may also signify being alone. Reaching a goal with perseverance and consistency is discussed in “But all the time/I’se been a climbin’ on/And reachin’ landins’ (Hughes 8-10). “Going in the dark” (12), can represent courage, bravery and faith while “No light” (12) symbolizes an unexplored strange or unfamiliar area. Mother becomes stern when telling her son to never “set down on the steps” don’t give up, and “don’t turn your back” (13) or turn away from life or run from your problems. Many African American women were faced with many obstacles throughout their lives such as;
Mother is setting a great example with the lines For I’se still goin’, honey, / I’se still climbin’( Hughes 18-19) even though life wasn’t easy for her , she never gave up ad she wants the same for her son. In the 1920’s, some women were subjected to prostitution to make a living because there were no jobs available making it not only painful but a dark journey not knowing where prostitution will lead you. So just being African American for most it is much easier to just give up and not reach for our goals and climb the stairs. We need to take one step at a time through life. The language in which Langston writes the poem in is actually the way in which mother spoke to her son. This informal language creates imagery I support of the theme. This image created by this language is a southern dialect from an African American mother, with no formal education