“Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, English homework help

Question Description

I’m studying for my English class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

Source Material: “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes



 In the poem, “Mother to Son,” by the esteemed Langston Hughes, Hughes uses rich imagery and symbolism to portray a mother’s message to her son as well as to the readers.


 Read the poem carefully, paying particular attention to the effectiveness of the symbolism and the mother’s message. Then in a well-organized essay, analyze how Hughes/ the mother uses the symbols in the poem to convey a message to her son.

 Your analysis should include the following sections

o Introduction: introduce the poem, its title, its poet, its publication date. Include a brief idea of the plot of the poem and then move directly into the analysis of the poem

o Main analysis: Using the poetic elements of symbolism and imagery, discuss how Hughes used these devices to convey his message. In other words:

i. What is the mother’s message to her son? How does the reader know this? Use text examples from the poem to support your ideas.

ii. What are the symbols in the poem? How does Hughes use these symbols to help convey the mother’s message? Use text examples to support your ideas

b. Conclusion: recap your main points and leave the reader with a thought-provoking ending.


 Length and format: 2-3 pages.

 The title page and reference page are also required, but they should not be factored into the 2-3 page length of the essay.

 It should also be double spaced, written in Times New Roman, in 12 point font and with 1 inch margins. Essay should conform to APA formatting and citation style.

 Use the objective voice, avoiding personal pronouns such as “I,” “you,” “we,” etc.

 Use APA format for in-text citations and references when using outside sources and textual evidence.

 Please be cautious about plagiarism. You are welcome to use outside sources to research some ideas for your analysis. If you are going to use outside sources, be sure to either quote or paraphrase them, and to use both internal and reference page citations.

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Final Answer

Hello. I have finished the essay and I also included the outline of what was recommended for the paper! 😄 Don't hesitate to let me know if you want me to change anything!Thanks,Pam

Running head: “Mother to Son” Poetry Analysis

“Mother to Son” Poetry Analysis
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“Mother to Son” Poetry Analysis


“Mother to Son” Poetry Analysis

“Mother to Son” Poetry Analysis
The poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes was written in 1922. It is from the point
of view of a mother and she is telling her son that life is not easy but he needs to keep going on
despite the struggles that he will face. The mother wants her son to know that her life has not
been easy either but it was worth it in the end, and she uses the simple imagery of a stair to state
a life lesson.
The mother in the poem wants her son to keep persevering no matter what obstacles stand
in his way. Langston Hughes shows this life lesson to the readers by relating life to a crystal
stair. The mother portrayed in the poem gets this point across very well when she says “So boy,
don’t you turn back. / Don’t you set down on the steps / ’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard”
(Hughes, 1994, lines 13-16). She doesn't want her son to quit or get discouraged when
something stands in his way. She knows that her son is strong and can handle these things while
still making a good life for himself.
The mother relates this to her own experiences in order to relate to her son and show her
son that she has been through struggles too by saying “Don’t you fall now— / Fo...

pml19 (1718)
Cornell University

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