Mother to Son

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, Undergraduate May 2007

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Life for me ain't been no crystal stair" (Hughes, line 2). This quote is derived from the poem Mother to son by Langston Hughes Throughout this poem; Hughes uses metaphors and implications to send a message to his readers. In this poem, there are three meanings that Hughes. The first meaning that Hughes expresses is that life is not easy. The second meaning is that one should not settle for less than what life has got to offer. The last meaning is to succeed in life. The poem Mother to Son is a powerful piece of literature that explores the concept of physical and mental strength. This is set against background filled with dejection and lost hope.

The first meaning that Hughes expresses in his poem is that life is not easy. In the second line of his poem, Hughes writes, "Life for me ain't been no crystal Stair." (Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes). No Crystal Stair is a novel by a Canadian author called Mairuth Sarsfield. ( Sarsfield's novel is about a young biracial widow passing for white. The story takes place in the 1940's and at this time there is racism between black and white people. The widow is able to live like a white person, meaning that she does not get discriminated against because of the color of her skin. But she lives her life like a black person, someone struggling to survive. There are connections between Hughes poem and Sarsfield's novel. The novel of the biracial having white privileges; counter act with the mother working hard to survive. The widow can live a normal life, but the mother in the poem cannot because of her skin tone. This is the reason why Hughes chose to say "Crystal Stair" in the beginning of his...