How Does Langston Hughes Use Syntax In Mother To Son

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Mother to Son
The poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, is about a mother telling her son about her hardships in life, how she is not giving up, and how he should do the same. The poem is told from the perspective of a mother to her son. The mother explains to her child how she strived to do better after the problems she encountered earlier in her life. She wants to help her son and teach him valuable lessons on how to not go down the same road she did. Through syntax, imagery, and diction; the author pushes the idea and importance of pushing through the obstacles and inconveniences one finds in life.
Hughes uses syntax to advise the son of the idea that life is difficult but can be overcome. As the speaker, the mother says, “Life for me
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While the mother explains that she hasn 't had a perfect life, she describes a stairwell with “tacks in it”, “splinters”, “boards torn up”, and “places with no carpet on the floor” (3-6). Hughes uses these pictures to compare how the mother has lived to a wrecked set of stairs, both with mistakes and damage done. The mother wants her son to understand her struggles and ensure that he does not go through them, therefore, paints a picture in his and the reader’s mind of how unpleasant it was. This aids the reader in helping understand how much she has experienced. However, “had” is used to remind the son that the life being pictured was from before, and she is putting in effort now to stop it. Hughes also uses imagery saying “and sometimes goin’ in the dark/where there ain’t no light,” (12-13). This sight imagery is placed here because it explains how she has gone through everything, but has yet to back down from it. She says “dark” to connotate that she has been in bad places in her life. However, she then uses “light” to symbolize that although she hasn 't always been on the right path, there is one and he should take it, giving her son motivation. She then says “don 't you turn back/don 't you fall now,” (14/17). The mother is giving her son the last important part of her message: to not give up. “Don 't you turn back” is used to reflect on the mother 's previous …show more content…
As the mother explains what she has done and the steps she has taken in her life, she says “I’se been a-climbin’ on, [a]nd reachin’ landin’s, [a]nd turnin’ corners…” (9-12). The mother uses “climbin’, reachin’, and turnin’ to give an intimate feeling between the mother and son, due to her not using formal language. Hughes incorporated these words because they all connotate reaching a certain point and doing something to get there. Although the mother may have not literally done these actions, she used them to explain the work she has been put through, but rather than literally and physically, she means emotionally. He connects that with how the mother has yet to back down. She is not speaking directly to her son, but reflecting on her past, and discussing her present. The mother also tells the son: “For I’se still goin’, honey,” (18). The mother is now addressing the son directly to pass on the repeating message of driving through obstacles and not surrendering to the pressure of life. She uses “honey” to make the son understand that she wants this from him and him to not buckle under life’s pressure. The word “honey” also makes the conversation and story more direct, making it more emotional. Additionally, she says “still,” presuming that she had a distressing time in her life for a long period, and she has been warding off the difficult

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