Mr. Ashraf VVN, HST, DGHSS, Tanur, Malappuram gladly shares with us Elegant Module based on the Chapter Mother to Son for the students preparing for SSLC English Exam. It will boost the student's confidence and vigour. It is great to support for teachers. EduKsd Blog Team is delighted to express our overwhelming pleasure and immense gratitude for his remarkable work.

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Prepare a profile of Langston Hughes using the following details

Full Name :James Mercer Langston Hughes 1 February 1902.
Born :1 February 1902. Missouri, United States
Education :Lincoln University of Pennsylvania
Known as :Poet social activist, novelist, playwright. columnist
Awards : Anisfield - Wolf Book Award, honorary doctorate of Howard University
Notable works: The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, Not without Laughter (short story collection), Black Nativity (play)
Death : May 22, 1967 (aged 65)

Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes popularly known as Langston Hughes was born on 19 February 1902 at Missouri in USA. He had completed his education from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. He was a renowned poet, social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist. He was awarded with Anisfield Wolf Book Award, Honorary Doctorate of Howard University. His notable works include The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, Not without Laughter, Black Nativity, etc. He passed away on May 22 1967 at the age of 65.

Comprehension Question from The Poem Mother to Son

1. Read the following lines from the poem ‘mother to Son ‘by Langston Hughes 
Well, son, I'll tell you
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair 
It's had tacks in it.
And splinters.
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor Bare.

1. What do tacks and splinters imply?
2. Pick out an instance of metaphor from the stanza.
3. What does the phrase 'no crystal stair mean?
4. The use of the word 'Bare' as the last line of stanza indicates--------
1. Tacks and splinters imply hardships sufferings in mother's life.
2. Life for me ain't not been crystal stair.
3. No crystal stair' means that journey of life is not smooth and comfortable, but full of hurdles and difficulties. Here it means that the journey of mother's life was not smooth and comfortable.
4. The Bare indicates the hardships and sufferings of life fully devoid of all sorts of luxuries of life.
2. Read the following lines from the poem ‘mother to Son ‘by Langston Hughes

Well,son, I ‘ll tell you
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor
But all the time
I’se been- a-climbin ,on,
And reachin’ landin’s ,
And turnin,corners,
And sometimes goin in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light
So,boy, don’t you turn back.....

1. Who is the ‘I’reffered to here?
2. What does the speaker compare her life to?
3. What is the speaker’s advice to her son?
4. What impression do you get about the speaker from these lines?
1. A mother
2. The speaker compares her life to a crystal stair which has tacks and splinters and torn up boards.
3. The speaker’s advice to her son is not to turn back.
4. The speaker could face harsh realities of life courageously. Her positive frame of mind is highly appreciable.

Textual Questions and Answers of the Poem Mother to Son

1. Who is the speaker in the poem? Do you feel the presence of a listener? How?
.A mother is the speaker in the poem. Yes, she addresses her son
2. What does the expression ‘no crystal stair’ mean?
Ans. The expression’ no crystal stair’ means journey of life is not smooth and comfortable, but full of hurdles and difficulties.
3. Was life easy for the narrator? Pick out evidence from the stanza to support your answer?
Ans. No, ‘It’ had tacks in it and splinters and boards torn up’.
4. The first stanza ends with the word ‘brave’. What does the speaker mean by the word ‘bare’?
Ans. Bare suggests scant furnishings. It could mean stark poverty that they experienced in life.
5. When life becomes challenging, does the speaker give up? How do you know?
Ans. No, the speaker didn’t give up. Whenever she had to face hurdles, she faced it with courage. Even though her way was not crystal clear, she still climbed on. She didn’t have any idea to turn back.Mother compares her life to climbing up a broken and dangerous staircase.
6. Was life easy for the narrator? Pick out evidence from the stanza to support your answer?
Ans. No, ‘It’ had tacks in it and splinters and boards torn up’.
7. What do the ‘turning corners’ and ’set down steps’ mean?
The phrase ‘turning corners’ means that she has been overcoming unexpected difficulties with determination and’ set down on the steps’ the speaker means ‘rest on the stairs of life.
8. The speaker speaks of the ‘dark times ‘. What does the poet refer here?
Dark times refer to the desperate and miserable living conditions at the time of their slavery.
9. What advice does the speaker give? Pick out the relevant lines from the poem?
She advises her son never to give up.
10. With what message does the poem end
We should not give up even if the situation is not positive

Appreciation of the poem Mother to Son

The poem “Mother to Son’ is a poem written by Langston Hughes is structured in the form of a conversation between a mother and her son. A mother is advising her son that he will have to face many adversities in life and yet he must overcome them and keep going. She says that her life has been quite rough with nails and piece of wood jutting out. The poet uses the ‘stair way’ metaphor to represent life. The mother reminds her son that life is not a crystal stair. She encourages her son by giving examples of her perseverance and determination.
It is a monologue by the mother where she tells her son the life has never been easy for her. The poet says she has faced lot of trouble in the journey of her life. But continue move ahead. Despite all the challenges that chat came her way she never tuned away and chooses not to give up. The mother tells her son that life will not always give a smooth ride but in spite of all the hardship and miseries, one must learn to move forward, she encourages her son to face life’s challenges head-on and try to inculcate strength and courage in him. The poet wishes to convey the message through this poem that one has to display steady persistence to go up the stair way of life. Obstacles may be harsh but one has to move on with patience and resilience. The poet has also used metaphor. He uses symbols like tacks, splinters, no carpet on the floor and darkness describes to difficulties that on face in life. The stair case is also metaphor for the struggles people face in their upward journey of life.
The poem is suggestive of the effect of racism and oppression on the lives and experiences of the Black Americans. However, this piece of advice from mother to son has an universal quality as it can be read as an advice from any mother to any son, anywhere in the world without keeping the. The upward journey referred to the journey to heaven or to a better place where one is free of all the pain and suffering.

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