Son's Themes In Langston Hughes's Mother To Son

726 Words3 Pages
Mother to Son is one of Langston Hughes's earliest poems, this poem takes the form of a dramatic monologue; that is, a poem spoken not in the poet's own voice but in that of a particular imagined speaker, in this case a mother addressing her son. The son, as we can surmise from the first line, has either asked his mother a question or complained about his frustrations in life, to which his mother’s response starts with, "Well, son, I'll tell you." She proceeds to counsel her son by recounting the difficulties of her own life, telling him "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair," yet suggesting to him that those difficulties are, if not ultimately surmountable, at least worth struggling against. The mother begins the poem by telling her son that life has not been a “crystal stair” – it has had tacks and splinters and torn boards on it, as well as places without carpet. The mother signals that the stairs are very hard to climb on. However, she still climbs on,…show more content…
I believe this message is directed towards people who are experiencing hardships and poverty, because the speaker is directing her conversation to her “son,” who does not have a life that is like “crystal stairs” (line 2). The crystal stairs in the poem represents a wealthy and easy life, as wealthy people have not probably had the same difficulties in life. Her message of not giving up is evident throughout the poem as she demands her son to not give up. She says, “So boy, don't you turn back, don't you set down on the steps, cause you finds it’s kinder hard” (lines 14-16). As readers, we know the message for us is that you can’t give up, even though you will face challenges—just like you have to keep going on a “staircase” even though the staircase has many obstacles on it. She clearly believes that we need to be fighters in our lives, as life will often be
Open Document