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Mother to Son

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Comparing and Contrasting Texts

One thing you will have to do on both your benchmark exam and your state test is compare and contrast multiple texts—basically, you will have to look for the similarities and differences between two different pieces of literature.

Read and annotate the two texts, "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes and All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg.

  • How is the genre of “Mother to Son” and All Over But the Shoutin’ different?
  • Describe the mother in “Mother to Son” and Rick Bragg’s mother in All Over But the Shoutin’. How are they similar? How are they different?
  • Which of the following words best describes the tone of “Mother to Son” a.) Apathetic b.) Ambivalent c.) Inspiring d.) Mocking How do you KNOW?
  • Which of the following words best describes the tone of the excerpt from All Over But the Shoutin’? a.) Reverential b.) Critical c.) Comical d.) Capricious How do you KNOW?
  • Which of the following is the best statement concerning the point-of-view of each passage? a.) Both selections use first person point-of-view in order to impart a very astute and articulate tone. b.) “Mother to Son” uses first person point-of-view in order to make the poem more personal, while All Over But the Shoutin’ uses third person point-of-view to give a more objective tone. c.) Both excerpts utilize first person point-of-view: “Mother to Son” uses first-person point-of-view to enhance the realism of the poem, while All Over But the Shoutin’ utilizes first person point-of-view to emphasize the personal feelings the author has towards his mother. d.) “Mother to Son” utilizes first person point-of-view to give a more embittered tone, and All Over But the Shoutin’ utilizes a first person point-of-view to give a more formal and reverential tone. How do you KNOW this?
  • Complete the following statements of theme or author’s purpose for each selection:

In “Mother to Son” Langston Hughes wants his readers to understand …

In All Over But the Shoutin’ Rick Bragg wants his readers to understand …

About this Document

This document contains the poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes and an excerpt from Rick Bragg's memoir ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN'. This is practice for my kids in comparing and contrasting texts with the same themes. The questions are multiple choice and short answer and are geared towards the Mississippi English II Subject Area Test.