The Death of Falling in Reverse

Topics: Family, Symbol, Language, Symbolism, Mother, Word / Pages: 9 (2056 words) / Published: Nov 10th, 2013
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.

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.

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.

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,and s's render the reader completely breathless imitating the exhaustive uphill

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