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

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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. Hughes employs anaphora in lines 4-6 that all begin with “and” as the speaker describes the obstacles and disadvantages that dominated her life. The use of anaphora here mirrors the cumulative effect of all of these injustices: it is as if Hughes is literally piling them on in the poem in the same way that challenges built up in the mother’s life. Anaphora is used again in lines 10-12 to describe the mother’s movement through life that sometimes brought her success as she reached “landin’s” and turned “corners.” The repetition of “and” in these lines reflects the poem’s emphasis on achieving progress through a refusal to quit.

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In "Mother to Son," Langston Hughes uses a parallel structure, with the "crystal stair" phrase repeated at both the beginning and the end of the...

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