What is the central metaphor in the poem, "Mother to Son"?

What is the central metaphor in the poem, "Mother to Son"?

The staircase, which depicts the mother's life, serves as a metaphor in "Mother to Son." Contrary to popular belief, the "crystal" staircase alludes to a life of struggle rather than luxury. The crystal balustrade represents Mother's hard-earned success and her continual effort to improve her position in society.

Another metaphorical comparison can be made between the son's growth and that of the mother. The son's growth is similar to that of trees; they both grow taller. This analogy suggests that even though the mother has raised him, he will one day become a man capable of taking care of himself.

Also, the mother's breast serves as a metaphor for her kindness. By feeding her child with milk, she has shown an interest in him even when she was working long hours at a job she disliked. This indicates that the mother is willing to go the extra mile to provide for her family.

At the end of the poem, the mother realizes that she has failed to give her son the proper guidance he needed. As a result, he grew up to be a stranger to her. She felt rejected by him but knew there was nothing she could do about it because he was grown up now.

This poem is often considered Shakespeare's finest work. It was written for his father who had died earlier that year.

How is symbolism used in mother-to-son?

Hughes employs a variety of symbols in "Mother to Son." The poem's key meaning comes when Mother compares her life to a stairway. "Life ain't been no crystal staircase for me," she adds. This suggests that life has not been simple for her, and that her path through life has been like to mounting a stairway. As she continues, she says that she has had to climb many steps to get where she is today. She admits that it has not been an easy journey, but she believes that it is one that has brought her closer to her son.

Here are some other examples of symbolism used in "Mother to Son":

Stairs - Life has not been a straight road for Mother. Even though she has achieved some success, there have been many obstacles along the way. Now that she has reached the top step of the staircase, she hopes that will help motivate her to keep going.

Cliffs - Like a cliff, Mother must decide what direction she wants to go in life. There are several options before her, but only one way up.

Rocks - Like rocks, we can never tell how people will react to our actions. We should therefore take every chance we can get and not be afraid to make mistakes.

Lakes - Like lakes, we should always try to see the good in others even if they aren't always willing to show it.

What are some of the literary techniques used in the poem Mother to Son?

Langston Hughes' poem "Mother to Son" use imagery, metaphorical language, and sound methods to describe the speaker's feelings. The speaker's life is a metaphor for the crystal staircase. He or she is like a mother who has raised her child, now an adult male, while still being able to see his/her own mortality through the eyes of the younger person.

Hughes uses foreshadowing to indicate what will happen later in the poem. For example, he says that the speaker will lose his hair later in the poem and then does so. He also uses parallel structures to compare and contrast the differences between old age and youth. For example, the speaker notes that "youth is full of promise / and old age comes without warning."

Sound effects are used by Langston Hughes to enhance the poetry within the poem. For example, he includes musical instruments such as pianos and violins to show the difference between young and old people. Also, he uses rhyme to end many of his lines to give the impression that they are songs.

Finally, Langston Hughes aims to express how important family is by using allusion. An allusion is when one word or phrase refers to two different things simultaneously but neither meaning is revealed until the next line or paragraph.

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Geraldine Thomas

Geraldine Thomas is a freelance writer who loves to share her knowledge on topics such as writing, publishing, authors and so on. She has a degree in English from one of the top colleges in the country. Geraldine can write about anything from publishing trends to the latest food trends, but her favorite topics are writing and publishing related!

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