The Importance Of Religion In Mother To Son, By Langston Hughes

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What does it mean to be an American? In America, citizens have certain freedoms and rights that are protected by law and the constitution. Such freedoms include the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom to gather. Another term affiliated with the United States is the American dream, which is the freedom to pursue your ultimate desire. Even though these rights existed in the first half of the twentieth century, blacks were ostracized from these American freedoms. One of the most prolific poet of this era, Langston Hughes, wrote about the segregation and degradation of the black people. Through his poetry, he became a voice of black pride. Much of Hughes poetry included the stark contrast between the white …show more content…
The poem “Mother to Son” displays the character of Hughes’s grandmother through the instructions of a mother to her son. Like Hughes’s grandmother, the mother in the poem is a wise Christian lady who has been through many trials. Despite these trials, the mother kept persevering. Through her example, she tells her son to keep going and climbing the splintered, wooden, and worn staircase of life. “Life for me ain 't been no crystal stair” (Hughes). As seen in this line of poetry, Hughes uses his own racial dialect to express the relationship between the black race and trials; however, the poem contains a universal theme because everyone has a mother. The poem alludes to Christian principles, which Hughes’s grandmother taught him. The mother represents Hughes’s grandmother in regard to the advice to the son (Jemie). The poem contains an allusion to the verse that says, “therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (King James Bible Heb. 12:1). When comparing this verse to – “Don’t you set down/ ‘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” (Hughes) – there are many parallels between the mother’s …show more content…
Throughout black history, music developed into a major influence on black heritage. The roots of music ran deep in ancient African tradition, which was brought over to America by the slave trade. Some slaves managed to bring over instruments, which is evident by the popularity of the banjo in various music genres today. Because the slave owners taught the Bible to the Africans, the African heritage influenced that genre as well. Many songs were created by slaves to sing during their manual labor, which were normally depressing because of their situation. Eventually, these songs developed into ragtime, which is the foundation of Jazz and Blues. Like much of his kin, Hughes enjoyed music, which he implemented into many of his poems (Rampersad 4). For example, the poem, “Weary Blues”, contains many elements of Blues music because it is about a black piano player Hughes heard playing the Blues. The rhythm of the poem reflects the Blues while it describes the feel and sound of the music Hughes heard. The tone and theme of the Blues and Hughes’s poem is normally melancholy and sad, which Hughes reflects through the words sung by the black pianist. "I got the Weary Blues / And I can 't be satisfied. / Got the Weary Blues / And can 't be satisfied — I ain 't happy no mo ' / And I wish that I had died" (Hughes). Like the old work songs of the slaves, the Blues sung by the

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