In Mother to Son, Langston Hughes discusses the struggles that African American men have faced in the United States throughout history. In this poem, Hughes casts his mother as a symbol of darker races fighting against adversity. Mother to Son was written in 1922 while Hughes was still a student at Columbia University and was first published in The Crisis magazine, a NAACP publication. Mother to Son is a message of encouragement and optimism to African American youth.
Though Mother to Son was published prior to the Harlem Renaissance, it successfully contributes to the same movement by enforcing its messages: pride in one’s skin and heritage and the fight against oppression. Mother To Son similarly extols themes contained within “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, celebrating the richness that black culture brings as well as venerating black history. Mother To Son also makes reference to two songs from spirituals sung during slavery, We’re Marching On and Steal Away.
In Mother To Son, Hughes uses many literary devices to send his message of hope for brighter future for African Americans. The most important device Hughes uses in Mother To Son is personification. Mother To Son is a poem written in first person, and Mother is portrayed as being a real person. Mother’s strong presence comes from the fact that she has a voice of her own, with thoughts and feelings of her own separate from those of Hughes.
Mother to Son was written as if Hughes were speaking directly to his mother, but Mother is given life beyond what any mother could be expected to accomplish; Mother becomes an entity who defies both time and physicality. Mother can even be seen as invincible; rather than dying like most parents do, Mother lives on forever: “Forever and forever / I’ll say it again. ” Another literary device used in Mother To Son is hyperbole. It would be impossible for anyone’s mother to have lived “forever”. Mother would have died eventually, which is why having Mother live forever becomes a symbol of Mother’s strength.
Hughes uses hyperbole to show Mother’s indomitable spirit and Mother’s willingness to do anything for her son, even if it means the possibility of death. The third literary device used in Mother To Son is symbolism. Throughout Mother To Son, Mother becomes more than just an ordinary human being because she takes on the qualities that could be expected from a mother. Mother is nurturing toward her son not only physically but also mentally; she supplies him with all he needs for his education.
Mother’s wisdom guides Hughes toward manhood while his father remains absent throughout this poem. While other African American men are portrayed as having to overcome much adversity to reach manhood, Mother offers her son the opportunity for success. Mother is also a black woman who provides hope and unity in Mother To Son. Mother’s presence in Mother To Son lets African American mothers know that they are not alone in their fight against oppression. Mother to Son demonstrates African Americans’ unified efforts toward racial equality during the Harlem Renaissance era.
The mother then advises her child to work hard and not become a victim of circumstance by continuing, “You’s old enough to climb. Motherhood is a struggle that doesn’t always have happy ending, but the Mother in this poem had children so she would have someone to take care of her when she grew older. Motherhood can be defined as a woman giving birth to a child. Motherhood is a position which involves taking care of one or more children at home or through out their life cycle stages while being aided by the father working outside the home full-time.
And parents value what they do for their kids more than material things so they’ll try anything within their means for their kid/s to have a bright and secure future. Mother to Son’s key words embedded in the poem are: Mother, Motherhood, Life, Stairs, Climb and so on. The Mother felt that she hasn’t been treated fairly all her life because of her race and gender by stating “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. ” The mother goes on to say that it’s been hard for her climb every step of the way as a result of their color and sex, but she had children so she would have someone to take care of her when she became older.
Motherhood is a position which involves taking care of one or more children at home or throughout their life cycle stages while being aided by the father working outside the home full-time. Motherhood can also be defined as a woman giving birth to a child. Motherhood is a struggle that doesn’t always have happy ending because the Mother in Mother to Son had children so she would have someone to take care of her when she grew older. The Mother wanted her son not only to understand life, but also succeed in it for himself by climbing every step just like she did.
“Mother to Son” By Langston Hughes Mother to son Talkin bout, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. ” In the poem, Mother to Son by Langston Hughes, the protagonist of this poem is a mother who’s trying her best to motivate her son as much as she can before he leaves home and makes his own path in life. She tells him that just because life has been hard on her doesn’t mean it will be for him also. She says not to give up hope on God and your dreams which gives a sense of hope to her son that he will make it too.
Mother to Son Mother’s eyes on me, pleading, “Don’t you fall now – Mother’s hand reaching out, touching, saying goodbye. ” Mother talking loud with fear, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. Don’t the sun look cold through the frozen window pane? Don’t you lie awake in the dark and listen to the ragin’ wind? ” Mother walking proud down a street of glitterin’ lights; Mother havin babies without no husband in sight; Mother got weary feet and dirty dress ties; Mother worryin about this world full of trouble an hate. Mother tries t o touch my arm but I moves away – ‘Cause that would bring us sorrow Mother, Mother don’t you cry!
Mother to son Talkin bout , “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. ” He says: Mother, I’m goin out in the world. Mother speaks loud and “Don’t you fall now – Mother’s hand reaching out, touching, saying goodbye. ” Mother talking with faith in her heart: “Build a dream and maybe it will come true. Don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do; It looks like hard work but don’t be afraid – No man can get more than he bargains for Out of life. ” Mother’s eyes on me pleading,”Don’t you fall now! ” Mother lowerin her head and walkin away. I rise above it all and then