Poem Analysis : Langston Hughes ' Poem

1258 Words Dec 11th, 2015 6 Pages
Research Paper and Poem Analysis: Langston Hughes

Poem Analysis:

Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother To Son” is a twenty line poem that seems to be from the perspective of a prudent mother that is giving her son, and possibly the readers, some helpful and supportive advice, telling them that, no matter how many adversities they may face, they can not give up. I believe that this is the main theme of the poem, perseverance. “So, boy, don’t you turn back./ Don’t you set down on the steps./ ‘Cause you find it’s kinder hard./ Don’t you fall now-/ For I’se still goin’ honey,” (15-17). In these lines, the mother really drives the idea of diligence and perseverance to her son. Also, in these lines, it can also be seen just how much this mother cares for and loves her child. She advises him to emulate her in the sense that she hasn’t given up and he shouldn’t either, so that they may climb the battered staircase of life together. This causes the mood to be overall relatively jovial and hopeful.

“Mother To Son” has an abundance of literary devices, especially imagery and symbolism, for example, the poem as a whole is a metaphor, comparing life to a staircase. That staircase can be imagined easily, thanks to the imagery used in the first few lines, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair./ It’s had tacks in it,/ And splinters,/ And boards torn up,/ And places with no carpet on the floor-/ Bare.” (2-7). The mother explains to her son in these lines how the stairs are torn up with…
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