Langston hughes

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Langston hughes

  1. 1. Langston Hughes<br />Mother to Son<br />AZAM<br />SIDQI<br />SHAFIK<br />ALIFF<br />
  2. 2. Poet’s Background<br />James Mercer Langston Hughes, (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best-known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the Harlem Renaissance saying that "Harlem was in vogue."<br />
  3. 3. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, the second child of school teacher Carrie (Caroline) Mercer Langston and her husband James Nathaniel Hughes (1871–1934). Both parents were mixed-race, and Langston Hughes was of African American, European American and Native American descent. He grew up in a series of Midwestern small towns. Both his paternal and maternal great-grandmothers were African American, and both his paternal and maternal great-grandfathers were white: one of Scottish and one of Jewish descent.<br />
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  5. 5. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes<br />Well, son, I'll tell you:Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.It's had tacks in it,And splinters,And boards torn up,And places with no carpet on the floor”Bare.But all the timeI'se been a-climbin' on,And reachin' landin's,And turnin' corners,And sometimes goin' in the darkWhere there ain't been no light.So, boy, don't you turn back.Don't you set down on the steps.'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.Don't you fall now”For I'se still goin', honey,I'se still climbin',And life for me ain't been no crystal stair. <br />
  6. 6. summary<br />Langston Hughes' moving poem "Mother to Son" empowers not only the son, but also the reader with precious words of wisdom. Through the skillful use of literary devices such as informal language, symbolism, metaphors, repetition, as well as clever use of format, Hughes manages to muster up the image of a mother lovingly, yet firmly, talking to her son about life. <br />Langston Hughes' poem, "Mother to Son" is reminiscent of the well-known expression "let's have a father to son chat"; however, in this case, the saying is altered to "mother to son." One may ask, "so where is the father"." Possibly, this is one of the many struggles that the "son" in this poem must face when the mother is compelled to offer her sage advice. The advice and consequently theme of the poem is determination and courage, in particular when confronting the uphill battle of life. Poetic devices, such as informal language, symbolisms, metaphors, repetition, and format lend to the theme. <br />
  7. 7. Written from the mother's point of view, in the form of advice, the audience feels the warmth and approachability of southern dialect. Immediately, an impression of a middle-aged women battered by life's struggles, with no formal education, but plenty of life experiences, is conjured up. Informal language is cleverly used to visually sketch a trustworthy motherly figure who has valuable advice to offer. <br />Informal language is not the only device Langston Hughes uses to craft vivid imagery to support the theme. Symbols like "tacks" illustrate the sharpness and discomfort of life's obstacles. Basically, the obstacles that tack down and depress an individual, consequently preventing him from advancing in life. Splinters represent the inflammatory pain and the difficulties in removing and overcoming this pain in life. Even the metaphor of life being compared to stairs symbolizes the exhaustive uphill climb in life. In contrast, the crystal stair represents clarity and perfection, a life that the mother makes clearly obvious was not given to her. <br />
  8. 8. Moreover, repetition adds to the imagery of the poem and helps support the theme. "Tell", "ain't", "crystal stair", "tacks", "splinters", "torn", "places", "carpet", "time", "peace", "climb", "corners", "steps": the constant repetition of p's, t's,ands's render the reader completely breathless imitating the exhaustive uphill climb of stairs. Even the repeated use of specific words add to the effect of repetition. Using the word "and" over and over creates an incessant feeling of never-ending continuation, consequently reinforcing the theme of courage and determination, both vital factors necessary to continue the "stair climbing." <br />Furthermore, the actual format of the poem supports the central theme. For example, the word "Bare" standing alone amidst a plethora of words depicts the vulnerability that a person may feel through the arduous journey of life. The courage and determination required by a person to stand alone, bare, naked is the valuable advice this mother, the narrator of the poem, is determined to pass on to her son. <br />
  9. 9. In conclusion, Langston Hughes' moving poem "Mother to Son" empowers not only the son, but also the reader with precious words of wisdom. Through the skillful use of literary devices such as informal language, symbolism, metaphors, repetition, as well as clever use of format, Hughes manages to muster up the image of a mother lovingly, yet firmly, talking to her son about life. The advice is simple but pertinent to the poetic theme: in order to over come the hurtles of life, a person must possess courage and determination. <br />
  10. 10. vocabulary<br />Crystal stair<br />Splinter = It represents the inflammatory pain and the difficulties in removing and overcoming this pain in life<br />Boards torn up = she was from poor part of the town<br />
  11. 11. Literary devices<br />Repetition<br />Repetition adds to the imagery of the poem and helps support the theme. "Tell", "ain't", "crystal stair", "tacks", "splinters", "torn", "places", "carpet", "time", "peace", "climb", "corners", "steps": the constant repetition of p's, t's,ands's render the reader completely breathless imitating the exhaustive uphill climb of stairs. Even the repeated use of specific words add to the effect of repetition. Using the word "and" over and over creates an incessant feeling of never-ending continuation, consequently reinforcing the theme of courage and determination, both vital factors necessary to continue the "stair climbing." <br />
  12. 12. Metaphors<br />Another quality that is prevalent in this poem is its metaphors. The extended metaphor, which is a metaphor that is stated and then developed throughout the poem, is that the mother believes that “Life for [her] ain’t been no crystal stair”. By explaining this to her son, she says that her life has not been fancy or easy, but she is getting by. While climbing her stairs she is “reachin’ landin’s, / and turnin’ corners, / and sometimes goin’ in the dark”. Although these are “homely” things someone may face on a staircase, they actually mean things that she has encountered in her life. She says that she reaches landings, which means that she has come up on place where she could rest. When she says she turns corners, it is when her life changes and she has to turn away from her original path. Her final comparison is when she goes in the dark, which are times in her life when she does not know what she can do to help herself. The metaphors in this poem show a conflict in the mother’s life and make the poem seem complete.<br />
  13. 13. Tone<br />The third quality that Langston Hughes uses in his poem is the tone of the speaker. When she explains to him not to “set you down on the steps / ‘Cause your find it’s kinder hard. / Don’t you fall down now,” the tone in her words in compassionate. The mother is simply trying to tell her son that she knows what he is going through because she has been in rough times herself. Those rough times were troublesome but she had the strength to go on and get past them. All she wants for her son is for him to keep climbing, and never give up. Winslow believes that this “enduring exuberance” shows her youthful spirit towards life. She wants this all because “[she is] still goin’, honey, / [she is] still climbin’, / and life for [her] ain’t been no crystal stair”.<br />
  14. 14. Message<br />This poem, “Mother to Son,” by Langston Hughes teaches a valuable life lesson about never giving up. Even when life is getting more difficult and one thinks they cannot go on, they need to keep climbing.<br />
  15. 15. Interesting Part<br />“Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.”<br />By explaining this to her son, she says that her life has not been fancy or easy, but she is getting by.<br />
  16. 16. A Review<br />Over the years many poems have been written. But the one poem that is an inspiration in the midst of adversity, expressed in simple words, by a mother to a son is what caught my attention. The author Langston Hughes titles the Poem “Mother to son” very appropriately. The main message that no matter how hard something is, you should never give up is so well expressed.<br />It is quite natural that a son listens to a mother when he has a tough time dealing with life. It is also undoubtedly true that experience can teach life lessons. A mother, who has gone through very rough times in her life, is hoping to see her son move forward in life. Her message to her son is to be strong and move forward no matter how hard the challenges he faces in his life. When she says “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” and “It’s had tacks in it, and splinters” she is telling her son that her life had been very hard and relates to what she had gone through in her life by being very strong and not giving up. When she says, “I’se been a-climbin’ on, and reaching landin’s, and turnin’ corners” She let’s her son know that her life had been hard as she grew up with very tough times, but she has stayed focused and overcome all the hardship she has faced all her life and never given up. When she says “so boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps ‘cause you find it kinder hard”. She is telling him that he should never give up. She motivates her son to not sulk at the smallest challenge but to keep trying and keep marching forward without giving up in his life. <br />So Langston Hughes has left us an effective message in the form of a mother’s advice to her son to not give up just because the path in life is challenging and rough.<br />

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