Analysis Of Mother To Son By Langston Hughes

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“Well, son, I 'll tell you:
Life for me ain 't been no crystal stair.” – Langston Hughes

This verse from Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother to Son,” highlights the struggles of the African Americans and how the Harlem Renaissance evolved their community through music, dance and literature. Hughes contributed towards the renaissance through his poems which allowed people to understand the position of African Americans at the time and allowed them to relate to him. He discusses the subjects of ‘overcoming obstacles’ and ‘helping others’ in his poems, “As I Grew Older” and “Mother to Son”, which also correlates to the movie “The Blind Side”. “The Blind Side” (directed by John Lee Hancock) is set in Memphis, Tennessee in the year 2003. There are
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For Hughes, that was his mother. In his poem, “Mother to Son”, Hughes writes
‘For I 'se still goin ', honey,
I 'se still climbin ',
And life for me ain 't been no crystal stair.’ Hughes tries to elaborate the fact that his mother had such a hard path to travel but she never gave up or gave in and continued pushing and struggling. He does this by repeating the line, ‘And life for me ain 't been no crystal stair.’ His mother also tells him that because she is moving forward, then so should he and gives the idea to her son that life is not a crystal staircase (luxurious) and that it is something much harder to tackle. African Americans and other people of colour can relate to him as they know the hardships of moving forward and progress, especially due to the fact that they are a minority.

The theme of “taking action” is also portrayed in “Mother to Son.” Hughes states:
‘But all the time
I 'se been a-climbin ' on,
And reachin ' landin 's,
And turnin ' corners,
And sometimes goin ' in the dark
Where there ain 't been no
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Words such as shatter, break and smash amplify his strength and add a sense of determination. Hughes is considered a strong character because he is not afraid to break off from the stereotypes given to him and the African American community and decides to follow his dream. The African Americans can relate to him as they have also been discriminated against and have been unable to reach their dream due to these labels. They also feel a sense of belonging as Hughes includes them by asking them for their help in ‘shattering the darkness’.

In the movie “The Blind Side”, the theme of ‘Individuals who inspire’ can be witnessed in many scenes. One scene in particular shows this appropriately and it is when Leigh Anne Tuohy (mother) is having tea with her acquaintances and the topic of Michael comes up. One friend states: “I think what you’re doing is so great. To open up your home to him, honey, you’re changing that boy’s life.”
Leigh Anne replies with, “No, he’s changing mine.” This shows us that Michael inspires Leigh Anne to be more accepting and helps her to understand the African American`s situation. It also inspires her to help him even more when she is told by Michael that he has never had the basic necessities of life; i.e. a bed. Furthermore, by understanding the situation of the African Americans, she is more

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