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Poetry Explication Of Mother To Son

Decent Essays
Poetry Explication of “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes wrote the poem Mother to Son in the form of a monologue. It likely dramatizes the intergenerational conflict, as mother’s passionate words could be an answer to son’s position that contradicted with her own attitude. It is impossible to say where or when characters are during this monologue; Hughes’s background suggest it was an African-American family. The mother feels compelled to speak as she believes her child is at the parting of the ways and description of her own example would help him to make right decision.
The poem consists of only twenty lines, but author used plenty of poetic devices in it. The line 15 shows examples of the alliteration or repetition of consonant
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Sounds “d” and “s” repeats in: “don’t you set down on the steps” (Hughes). The same line is a part of anaphora, when the author deliberately repeats the first part of the sentence. Hughes repeats words “don’t you” at the beginning of lines 15 and 17 to reach out to the character and readers. Close repetition of vowel sound or assonance appears in lines 9-11 in words like “climbin”, “reachin” and “landin”. First lines demonstrate example of consonance: “Well, son, I’ll tell you: life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” (Hughes l. 1-2). Sounds “ll” and “st” repeat here. The first line also has an example of a type of the internal rhyme – words “well” and “tell”. While the last one does not finish the line, and the term means rhyme between the middle and end words, it is the second last. The other possible example is the line 10 with words “reachin” and “landin’s”. The poem…show more content…
It is hard to believe the narrator physically presented in conditions totally without light sources. The phrase is also a metaphor or comparison of two essentially dissimilar things with common characteristics. It means the narrator had very hard times. The whole poem is a metaphor as it compares the life with the going up the ladder. As the poem does not has words “like” or “as” it does not have direct comparison or simile at the first sight. But it likely appears in the line “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” (Hughes l. 2) as the narrator compares life with stares and states they are not the same. Hughes used words to represent both narrators external and internal conditions (imagery). Lines about a poor room without a carpet (l. 6-7) created an image of her living conditions, and comments about splinters, tacks and torn boards highlights the woman’s feelings. Last images are also an example of the onomatopoeia or usage of words that mean like they
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