One of the most important of the influential people in Langston Hughes’ life was his grandmother. The ability to persevere through hardships and trials were her teachings. Lessons also learned were those of strength and determination. The proof of this is evident in a few of his literary works where a mother figure encourages and teaches her child, or student, life lessons on
staying the course. In the poem “Mother to Son” a mother tells of her persistence through life’s obstacles, encouraging her son not to give up.
“Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
She starts here with telling her son how hard life has been for her with the mentioning of the metaphor ‘crystal stair’, which is a reference of wealth and reaching the top.
“It's had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Here she explains why her life hasn’t been a “crystal... [continues]
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