What is the poem mother to son about

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what is the poem mother to son about

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes is a short address from a nameless mother to her son. She tells her son about the challenges in her life, and challenges him to keep going, even when the going gets hard. The poem is a shorter poem written with ethnic dialect, and paints a picture of life as a beat up staircase, representing the hardship that life can bring.

I loved this poem when I found it, and I would love to use it in a lesson on conflict. I feel like its simple enough that my students will understand it without trying too hard (unlike The Lady of Shalott.), and we can glean its meaning as a class. I love how it describes life with conflict, but its kept in a general sense. With the context of the poem I can probably help my class infer that its referring to Man vs. Society, especially since Langston Hughes is a black poet from the Harlem Rennaissance, but I think that the poems true power lies in the fact that my students can view the beat up stair of life to represent a number of different conflicts. With this in mind, I can pair it with other works, no matter what conflict we are addressing. I also love that this poem addresses one of my essential questions, being about how struggle and conflict can affect behavior. This poem encourages the reader to keep moving, and keep trying, even when things get hard. In that respect, I think it could go well with the picture book What Do You Do With A Problem? because of how the poem provides a solution for dealing with problems, whatever they might be. The strategy that I would want to use with this poem would be Think Silently from the Beers text, Chapter 7. Even though the strategy is only briefly mentioned on page 127, I love the image that accompanies it on the next page. I would have a copy of the poem on posterboard, and hang it up in the classroom somewhere. I would then allow students to go up to the posterboard and write down what they think the poem is talking about, or what they understand about the poem. I would have them do this after giving each a personal copy of the poem, and letting them have some minutes during/after a read-aloud to write down their initial thoughts. I would want my students to have some safe thinking time on their own before sharing their written answers with the class. I think that this exercise could be a great way for students to get out their ideas in a relatively stress-free environment, and will provide a fabulous resource fo class discussions.
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Published 09.12.2018

Mother to Son and Speech to the Young 01

The speaker, a mother, tells her son that though her life has had many challenges, she has continued to move forward, never giving up. She uses imagery to advise her son to do likewise.
Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes: Poems Summary and Analysis of "Mother to Son" and "Dreams"

The stair is bare. However, she still climbs on, reaching landings, turning corners, and persevering in the dark when there is no light. The speaker advises the reader to hold onto dreams, because if dreams die, life will be like a bird with damaged wings that cannot fly. These two poems are not as widely anthologized, but are thematically similar in the way Hughes expresses the disparity between the American Dream and the reality of life for African Americans during the early 20th Century. Hughes wrote "Mother to Son" when he was 21 years old.

In this article, we will take a look at the meaning of the poem, analyze it , and then look at some different metaphors and phrases which may be confusing. The mother states that she has been climbing up the stairs and turning corners and how sometimes it goes dark but do not turn back. She says to keep climbing the stairs and that she is still climbing them herself. The poem speaks about how sometimes life has many hardships, but we cannot turn back. We must push through the hardships. We must keep living our lives. Sometimes there are good days, sometimes there are bad days.

Mother to Son and The Coora Flower: A Poetry Analysis In poetry, more so than any other form of literature, understanding sound, meaning and theme are key to understanding the work itself. Thought both writers use these elements to their fullest to communicate their respective. With his brilliant writing, Hughes conveys to the reader to never giving up just because something is not easy Langston2. It seems that Langston Hughes wants the readers to understand that yeah life may be hard, but you have to get through it. One cannot give up just because things are not going their way. The mother explains how she has also endured difficult. The young boy and his mother are not able to cross the border because her Blackfoot citizenship is not recognized.

Analysis of Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Poetry Analysis 135: Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Background: Langston Hughes is an African American poet who is also well known for his work in fiction, plays, essays and biographies. This poem was written in the early 20th century when the African Americans faced some serious oppression and racism issues. The poem is a conversation between a mother and a son. It is a monologue by the mother where she tells her son that life has never been easy for her. She says she has faced a lot of troubles in the journey of her life but continues to move ahead.

Hughes composed the text in free verse. This means that there is no pattern of rhyme or rhythm. That does not mean that the word choices are unimportant. In fact, they are lyrical in nature. Langston Hughes has chosen to use anaphora, the repetition of words at the beginning of lines, as well as just a general repetition of words throughout the poem.


  1. Ferragus J. says:

    Quick Answer. "Mother to Son" uses the conceit, or extended metaphor, of a staircase to symbolize the hardship of the mother's life. Her metaphorical " staircase".

  2. Chris M. says:

    Summary of Mother to Son

  3. Norma T. says:

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