“Mother to Son” and “If”: Poems Analysis

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Most poems published are likely to have a specific meaning. The poems “Mother to Son” and “If” have two strong themes throughout them, and are likely to be compared and contrasted. Most of the challenged people in the world can use these poems for motivation and perseverance. The message from both of the poems are there an always going to be shortcomings in the road of life, but you have to keep striving through them.

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The poem “Mother to Son” informs the reader about an African-American mother life, referred as a symbolic staircase. The poem shows how hard her life was by saying, “It’s had tacks in it,/ And splinters,/ And boards were torn up,/ And places with no carpet on the floor-/ Bare” (Hughes 3-7). The other poem “If” informs the reader that everything and everyone around a human being will try to tear them down. They just have to keep fighting in push through it. If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,/ But make allowance for their doubting too; (Kipling 3-4). One major similarity is both authors write a message to inspire their son. The title of Langston Hughes poem lets the reader know the narrator is talking to her son. In Rudyard Kipling’s poem the author mention, “And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!” (32).

Another similarities, are the authors had very similar lives at one point in time. Their lives were very repulsive at the beginning. Rudyard Kipling life suddenly got turned upside down when his mother sent him to live with a foster family, that beat and terrorized him at a young age. Langston Hughes life had a different hard life, then Rudyard Kipling. Langston Hughes was not physically abused but economically. His mother was like most African-American parents, she was a single mom, his father was not in his life due to him living in Mexico.

A tone in a poem is defined as an attitude of the author, or a certain viewpoint on a specific subject. The tones in both poems are similar but somewhat different. In the poem “If” the tone is instructive, the speaker of the poem is a father. The father through the story giving his son steps on being successful in the world. In the poem “Mother to Son” the tone is buoyant, but is also instructive. The mother shows her son to be buoyant by not getting down on himself and always fight through the toughest times. She mentions, “So boy don’t you turn back./ Don’t you set down on the steps” (14-15).

The structure of the two poems of are different, the structure of a poem means the rhyme scheme and the way it’s written. A rhyme scheme of a poem known as the ordered pattern of rhymes towards the end of lines of a poem or verse. The poem “If” has four stanzas with eight rhyming lines, containing the rhyme scheme of abab cdcd. The poem “Mother to Son” has the written structure known as free verse, and it has no rhyme scheme. Both poems also have imagery. Imagery is visually graphic or figurative language, most likely in a literary work. “If” uses some visual words such as: “worn-out tools”, “crowds”, and “dreams”; “Mother to Son” uses some visual words also such as: “crystal stairs”, “boards torn up”, “dark”, and “bare”.

In conclusion, after reading and analyzing the poems, “If” and “Mother to Son”, there are many similarities and differences between the two. The similarities include the tone of the poem, the events of the author’s life at specific points, and the theme of each poem. The differences include the structure of each poem, the rhyme schemes, and the different tones. The main point of each poem is that no matter the circumstance, or the trial and tribulation anyone can overcome the situation that is faced. The authors also inspire the readers by their early life struggles and no matter the readers’ nationality or race, they can rise up to be successful at anything they do.

Works Cited

“What Is the Tone of the Poem ”Mother to Son”?” Enotes.com , Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-tone-poem-mother-son-79099 . “What Is the Tone and Mood of the Poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling?” Enotes.com , Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-tone-and-mood-poem-by-rudyard-kipling-44779 3 . “What Is the Style of the Poem ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling?Can You Explain It with Examples Attached to It?” Enotes.com , Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-style-poem-by-rudyard-kipling-65319 .

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“Mother to Son” and “If”: Poems Analysis. (2019, Feb 20). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from

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