Questions and Answers for Mother to Son

Mother to Son

What is the symbolism in the poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes?

The poem's main symbol is the rough staircase the mother climbs every day. It has, according to her: tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor She...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2019 9:31 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Mother to Son

What is the tone of the poem ''Mother to Son''?

Tone is defined as the attitude of the author about a subject, as seen in the perspective and language used to explore that subject in the writing. In the poem "Mother to Son", Langston Hughes...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2015 2:15 am UTC

3 educator answers

Mother to Son

What advice did the mother give to the son in the poem "Mother To Son" by Langston Hughes?

“Mother to Son” is an extended metaphor for life, narrated from the perspective of a wise maternal figure who has faced many obstacles. Despite this, the speaker has kept “climbin’ on” to reach her...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2019 2:54 am UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

In "Mother to Son" what is the extended metaphor?

The entirety of Langston Hughes' poem "Mother to Son" is an extended metaphor. The poem is written from the perspective of a black mother who is encouraging her child never to give up on life, even...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2020 8:40 am UTC

5 educator answers

Mother to Son

Mother To Son Theme

In my mind, the most powerful element of Hughes' poem is the theme of struggle that seems to be passed down from one generation to another. A trademark of Hughes' poetry is that he conveyed an...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2011 7:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What is the mood of the poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes?

The mood of "Mother to Son" is one of optimism in the face of hardship and sadness. The poem starts off, it seems, on a note of resignation: Well, son, I'll tell you: Life for me ain't been no...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2016 11:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

How do diction and imagery reinforce the theme in "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes?

The theme of "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes is the mother's urging of the son to keep going in life, despite difficulties. The theme is reinforced by the extended metaphor of the crystal...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2016 2:32 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

What does the mother compare her life to?

In "Mother to Son", the mother compares her life to a splintered and dilapidated stairway: It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up A stairway is a means of getting somewhere or,...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2019 1:14 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

In "Mother to Son," how does the poem's use of language and free verse contribute to the author's purpose?

Langston Hughes's 1922 poem "Mother to Son" is presented as a monologue in the vernacular. The mother is plainspoken and her tone is both matter-of-fact and intimate because it is imperative that...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2020 1:42 pm UTC

5 educator answers

Mother to Son

What do you think is Langston Hughes' purpose in writing the poem "Mother To Son"?

In “Mother to Son,” Langston Hughes assumes the persona of a mother who is having a heart-to-heart conversation with her son. His purpose is to show that the strongest people in life persevere...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2019 2:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

Analyze the literary device of the poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes.

Hughes uses dramatic monologue for this poem, in which the mother directly addresses her son and reveals much about her character in the process. This style adds a powerful emotional immediacy to...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2019 11:29 am UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

What are the sound devices and the figures of speech in the poem "Mother to Son"?

Langston Hughes uses a number of sound devices and figures of speech in the poem “Mother to Son.” The poem is metaphor for life, which Hughes describes as a “crystal stair.” A mother speaks to her...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2016 4:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

What is the rising action, resolution, and major conflict for the poem "Mother To Son" by Langston Hughes?

The terms "rising action" and "resolution" and "conflict" are normally used to analyze the plots of narrative works. Although Langston Hughes' "Mother to Son" is a relatively short poem, it does...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2015 2:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What is some figurative language that is used in Langston Hughes's "Mother to Son"?

The speaker employs a vernacular that would be common for a black mother in this historical context to use in speaking with her son. This accounts for the colorful language such as "I'se" and...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2020 3:54 am UTC

3 educator answers

Mother to Son

How has the speaker in “Mother to Son” responded to her life experiences?

The speaker in this poem is the eponymous mother. The mother addresses the poem to her son and offers him advice as to how to live his life, based on her own life experiences. She tells her son...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2019 10:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

How does the poem's use of language and free verse contribute to the author's purpose in "Mother to Son"?

In "Mother to Son," Langston Hughes gives a message of encouragement to black Americans struggling against poverty and racial injustice. The language of the poem and the free verse format...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2019 4:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What literary elements does Langston Hughes use to demonstrate the message in "Mother to Son"? 

Anaphora, or the repetition of a word at the beginning of clauses, is a key literary device that helps develop the message of “Mother to Son” of the value of persistence in the face of adversity....

Latest answer posted February 8, 2019 4:25 am UTC

3 educator answers

Mother to Son

What does the speaker compare her life with?

The speaker, the poet's mother, compares her life to a climb up a hard set of stairs. It has been a treacherous climb, with tacks, and splinters, and places where the boards have been torn up....

Latest answer posted October 28, 2019 5:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Is there any rhyme or alliteration in the poem "Mother to Son?"

While the other Educator is correct in saying there is no alliteration in “Mother to Son,” one could argue that Hughes uses internal rhyme in the poem. Internal rhyme is defined as when two or more...

Latest answer posted August 4, 2018 10:40 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

What do the words "landing" and "corners" stand for in this poem?

The poem “Mother to Son” was published by the poet Langston Hughes in 1922. It is written from a mother’s perspective, as she tells her son about the struggles in life. She does so by comparing...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2019 8:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Explain the significance of the "crystal stair" in "Mother to Son."

The language of Langston Hughes's "Mother to Son" is colloquial and informal. The poem does not have a formal structure. The language represents the rhythms and diction of actual speech. This...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2019 10:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

In the poem, whom is the speaker addressing and what about?

The speaker in “Mother to Son” is, unsurprisingly, a mother addressing her son. She begins by telling him about her life, using the metaphor of a flight of stairs. Her life has not been a crystal...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2019 7:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What is poetic voice in "Mother to Son"?

Sometimes students confuse the author of a poem with the speaker of the poem. In fiction, readers readily assume that the person who tells the story is not the author himself; the author has...

Latest answer posted August 6, 2019 11:32 am UTC

3 educator answers

Mother to Son

What lesson is the mother trying to teach her son, based upon what she tells him toward the end of the poem?

The lesson in "Mother to Son" is clearly stated, albeit as part of an extended metaphor. In the final third of the poem, the mother exhorts her son: So boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019 11:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Which of the following best explains the significance of the staircase in the poem? A. The narrator describes a...

The answer is A: The narrator describes a tiring climb up a beat-up staircase, which represents her persistence through difficulties and challenges in life. The other options are incorrect...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2019 1:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What are some modernist characteristics of Langston Hughes's poem "Mother to Son"?

One characteristic of modernist poetry is the use of symbolism. In "Mother to Son," the speaker uses lots of symbolism to convey her message to her son. For example, she tells her son twice that...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2019 9:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What is the tone of Hughes's poems "Mother to Son" and "The Negro Mother"?

They both have a feeling of endurance and fortitude. Both poems are from the viewpoint of a mother, or of a strong black woman who has gone through a lot of trials. In "The Negro Mother" those...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2009 12:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

In "Mother to Son," what has kept the stairway from being easy to climb?

First of all, it's important to note that the staircase is an allegory for the mother's life. An allegory is a literary device which is used to reveal a hidden message, meaning, or moral. In this...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2019 9:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Literally analysis or explication of the poems. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes' Well, son, I'll tell you: Life...

I encourage my students to use a pneumonic device, known as SPIT M & Ms, to analyze most poems. Here are the basics: Speaker: an African-American mother, probably a domestic, encouraging her...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2010 9:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Where, if any, are the following poetic techniques in "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes?   Satire, sound...

I can't find any examples of similes in the poem; similes are where you compare two things using the words "like" or "as." Something very similar though, is a metaphor--it is the exact same thing,...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2010 1:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

In the poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes, how old is the son? Does he seem to be at some sort of crossroads?

The age of the son being addressed by his mother is never stated in this poem. However, we have clues that help us determine how old he is. For example, although she calls him "boy," the way she...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2020 12:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What is the extended metaphor described in lines 2-7?

While the extended metaphor in Langston Hughes's "Mother to Son" is established in lines 2-7, it ends up being the central focus of the entire poem. The poem begins with a "mother" character...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2018 12:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What are the similarities in the advices that the parents offer their sons in “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes and...

In Langston Hughes’s poem “Mother to Son,” the speaker tells her son that life will be difficult, but he must keep going anyway. She explains that her life has been hard—“no crystal stair.” Her...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2019 11:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Why is she telling her son about her life in this way in "Mother to Son"?

This delightful poem consists of a narrator telling her son that life can get hard but simultaneously encouraging him to never give up, no matter what life throws at him. While we don't know...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2020 12:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Literally analysis or explication of the poems. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes'   I wrote the...

Here is how I have annotated the poem, according to the question in my book, which asks: "How is the central metaphor of climbing stairs a particularly appropriate idea for conveying this poem's...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2010 3:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

When life becomes challenging, does the speaker give up? How do you know?

Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son” is an inspirational poem in which a mother imparts an important life lesson to her grown son, but this lesson works on two distinct levels. One is a universal level...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2019 5:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

What is the speaker's purpose in "Mother to Son"?

The person speaking in this poem is the poet's mother. Her purpose is to tell her son both that life will be a hard climb for him as a black man as it has been for her but that he should never give...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2019 3:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

I need help with a summary and/or analysis of the poem Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Mother To Son is typical of what you would expect from such a title - a mother wanting to give her son the best advice based on her own experiences. The mother relates these experiences by...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2013 5:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

I need help writing an essay comparing "Mother To Son" by Langston Hughes with "Advice to My Son" by J. Peter Meinke.

This is a truly interesting comparison. If I were writing this essay, I would organize my ideas into three main topics I wished to compare and contrast, being sure to make selections that show...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2019 12:36 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Mother to Son

What techniques does Hughes use to characterize the mother in Mother to Son?

Langston Hughes uses a variety of poetic devices, or figurative language, in "Mother to Son" to characterize the mother as a hard-working, determined woman who cares deeply for her son. Extended...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2012 12:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Write an essay commenting on elements of poetry like imagery, metaphor, meter, and rhyme in "Mother to Son."

We cannot write your interpretation of Langston Hughes's "Mother to Son" for you. However, we can give you ideas to discuss. Let's start with metaphor. What's the central metaphor of the poem? For...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2020 1:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

How does Hughes transfer women's experience into emblems of African American experience in "Mother to Son"?

In Langston Hughes' "Mother to Son" stairs are the central metaphor that conveys the poem's themes of generational sacrifice and maternal love. In terms of African American experience, the poem...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2010 10:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

What was going on in America for Black Americans during this time?

"Mother to Son" is a 1922 poem from American writer Langston Hughes's (1902–1967). It is a monologue spoken from a mother to her son, in which the mother metaphorically presents life as a...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2019 7:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

What event does the speaker refer to at the start of "Mother to Son"?

As "Mother to Son" opens, readers are made aware of a few circumstances in the first lines of the poem. We understand that the poem is written in first-person point of view from a mother's...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2020 11:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Compare and contrast "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes with "Advice to My Son" by Peter Meinke.

The poems "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes and "Advice to My Son" by Peter Meinke are similar in that they both concern parents offering advice to their children. In Hughes's poem, the speaker...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2020 12:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

Discuss the Hughes's themes in "Mother to Son" and explain how he gets these themes across.

"Mother to Son" is narrated by the eponymous mother, who implores her son to work hard and persevere in his life no matter how difficult or hopeless it might sometimes appear to be. The mother...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2020 9:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

In the poem "Mother to Son" what is NOT being said as well as what is being said?

In "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes, what is not being said holds as much significance as what the mother does tell the son. What the mother does say: Her own life has had its share of...

Latest answer posted June 22, 2012 10:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer