Mother to Son Questions and Answers

Mother to Son

The central symbols of the poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes are the ideal "crystal stair" and the contrasting rickety staircase which the mother says she has actually had to ascend and which...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2021, 7:47 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Mother to Son

In the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, the speaker encourages her son to persevere through life and strive for goals despite obstacles. The poem’s tone—and her attitude toward her son—is...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2021, 3:48 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

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

Before we can discuss the tone used in any specific poem, we need to establish what tone is in the context of poetry. In a nutshell, tone is the general attitude of the writer as depicted in the...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2021, 5:54 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Mother to Son

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” 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

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

The Langston Hughes's poem "Mother to Son" is written in free verse, so it has no formal rhyme scheme. However, there are occasional rhymes such as "stair" and "bare." The rhythm follows an...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2016, 4:05 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Mother to Son

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)

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Mother to Son

A metaphor is a comparison that does not use the words like or as. The central metaphor in this poem is the staircase that the mother must climb, which is "no crystal stair" (staircase). The mother...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2021, 2:08 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

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

Langston Hughes's poem "Mother to Son" lacks a distinct setting, but it's clear that the what the speaker is doing during the poem is talking to her son. There is a sense that this is happening at...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2016, 9:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

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

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)

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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

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

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

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

Onomatopoeia is a language device in which a writer uses words which not only describe a sound, but also vaguely replicate that sound when said aloud. Writers often use onomatopoeia to create a...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2019, 11:30 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

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

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

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

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

Conflict, rising action and resolution are all parts of a plot structure and connect back to the protagonist of a story. If we view Langston Hughes's poem "Mother to Son" as a story, then the...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2021, 1:48 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

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)

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Mother to Son

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)

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

This poem is a great example of a writer who separates himself from the speaker of the poem. Langston Hughes was a Black man who wrote during the Harlem Renaissance; this poem is one of his many...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2021, 10:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

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

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

"Mother to Son," written by Langston Hughes, is written in the voice of a mother advising her son how life has been for her and how she has struggled. The whole poem is built around a metaphor of...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2018, 8:59 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

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

The structure and form of "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes is free verse. In the poem, the narrator is a mother offering advice to her son. To explain her life journey, she uses the metaphor of...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2021, 12:10 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

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

As the mother tells her son in Hughes's poem, life has been no crystal stair for her. It's been a hard life, full of splinters, tacks, and torn-up boards. Developing the metaphor of her life as a...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2021, 7:34 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Mother to Son

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

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

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

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