The speaker in Langston Hughes' poem "Mother to Son" warns her son that life would be difficult, but he must persevere. She admits that her life has been difficult, with "no crystal stairs." Her...
Her father was killed when she was young, and her mother had to work hard to support them. Although they were not rich, they knew what it meant to have money. The speaker tells her son that even though things may look bad now, they will get better.
She says that although she hasn't got a college education, she knows how to help him succeed in life. She urges her son to keep his head up while going through life so he doesn't fall down those crystal steps.
Finally, she tells him that she loves him very much and wants him to know that she is always here for him.
Langston Hughes uses simple language to express complex ideas. He uses short sentences and concrete words to make his point clear to his audience.
The main message of Langston Hughes' poem "Mother to Son" is from a mother to her son, asking him to keep going no matter how difficult life becomes. She claims to have faced her fair share of adversity, yet she perseveres. Thus, she encourages her son to do the same.
Other themes include love and loss. The mother in the poem says that she will always love her son even though he has left home to make his own way in the world. She also states that she will miss him every day until they meet again in heaven. These ideas are combined with loss because the mother will never see her son grow up or get married.
Langston Hughes was an American author, poet, and civil rights activist. He published more than ten books of poetry and essays during his lifetime. His most famous works include: The Big Sea, Songs of Freedom, and We Shall Overcome.
Hughes was born on February 2, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. He had two brothers and one sister. When he was only six years old, his father died and his mother could not afford to send him to school. Therefore, he worked with his three siblings on a farm so they could earn money for lessons.
At the age of fourteen, he left home to work as a printer's assistant.
After reflecting on her own life, a mother wants her son to understand that life is neither simple or glamorous—it is not a "crystal stair." The mother/speaker, on the other hand, describes her existence as a serpentine, unyielding stairway. However, the poem does not convey a pessimistic attitude regarding life in general. Rather, it shows that even though there are no straight paths, we can always reach the top of the stairs.
She believes that her son should use his talents and work hard at anything he chooses to do. As long as he is careful not to step into certain traps she has seen others fall into, he will be able to succeed in life.
The speaker questions whether her son will have any reason to return home, but hopes that he will because she would like him to know that she is not ashamed of him. She also wishes that he will find love and happiness even though they don't appear to be looking for them.
Finally, she asks God to give her son strength to continue up the stairs when times get tough.
Here is how this poem compares with other poems that focus on mothers and sons:
• "Mother" by Christina Rossetti contains similar themes of disappointment and loss as well as passion and love.
• "Ode: To a Mother" by John Keats is about the relationship between a son and his mother.