Mother To Son Poem Analysis

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Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was a famous African-American poet, who was born in Missouri and was a part of the Harlem renaissance. He created this famous poem called, 'Mother to son' that was published in 1922 in a dialect form. This poem is about a mother who is giving strong, fierce, and positive advice to her son about life. It connects to not only the mothers who have kids but to the society who fought through hard times to get to where they are at now. In the 'Mother to son' poem, Hughes uses symbolism and imagery to convey the meaning of life and prove what it means to move forward and not give up in the political and social identity of this world called America. The anonymous mother is the main speaker in this poem, who gives a powerful statement, "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair (Hughes, 1922)." She stated this in the beginning and at the end of the poem to allow the readers as well as her son to believe that, life is filled with different obstacles and can never be an easy journey to success. People are forcing themselves to give up based on a negative impact, but the speaker is telling them, to keep moving forward; Always stay positive. Readers know this because, she expresses, "It's had tacks in it/ And…show more content…
"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 (Hughes, 1992)." It gives a visual of open and lonely space where someone would not want to imagine living in. In this case that lonely space would be her dark challenges. 'Boards torn up/And places with no carpet on the floor shows that where the speaker lived was no fair home. 'Bare' in its own stanza expresses loneliness, and a plain image of what life is like from one-person experience. The second stanza, "But all the time/I'se been a-climbin' on/And reachin' landins/And turnin' corners (Hughes, 1992), expresses the scene of perseverance.;
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