• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparative essay - Langston Hughes poems "Mother to Son" and "The n***o Speaks of Rivers".

Extracts from this document...


Comparative essay Both of Langston Hughes poems "Mother to Son" and "The n***o Speaks of Rivers" express his opinions and hopes about r****m. "Mother to Son" has a much less "formal" dialect than that of the "n***o Speaks of Rivers". Also, "the n***o Speaks of Rivers" has a slightly irregular beat in comparison to "mother to son", which uses a more regular beat, which is used to the effect of creating a sort of "staircase beat", which is appropriate because the main focus of the poem is about how life is like walking up a staircase. Metaphors and similes used in the two poems vary, the poem "The n***o Speaks of rivers" uses a lot of metaphors and a lot of similes, whereas the poem "Mother to Son" uses a great deal of metaphors and no similes. The poems are very different from one another if you look at how they are displayed, but if you look at them in terms of their overall message, the issue about r****m against blacks in America, they are very similar. The language in "Mother to Son" is very informal. ...read more.


"And places with no carpet on the floor", the staircase effect used in this sentence can be pointed out, and pla-ces with no car-pet on the floor, the sentence jumps quickly from on syllable to the next, just like stairs, this does not always work on any sentence you make, that is why it is such a clever use of words. In the other poem written by Langston Hughes, "The n***o Speaks of Rivers", the beat used throughout the poem is regular. Langston Hughes like before with the formal language, may have decided that because of who the poem is actually talking to, that it required a regular beat, "I've known rivers: ancient, dusky rivers" this is just one example of the regular beat used in the poem "The n***o speaks of Rivers". In the poem "Mother to Son" metaphors (comparison not using like or as) are common but there are very few similes (comparison using like or as). Part of Langston Hughes' message presented in the poem "Mother to Son" was that life is like a staircase, he puts this message across without once saying "like", if he had there would be similes in the poem. ...read more.


The major points that have been reviewed are language used, the rhythm and the amount of metaphors and similes. When it came down to the language used, it turned out that "Mother to Son" used a very informal way of speaking; this was because the mother was talking to her son, the other poem "The n***o Speaks of Rivers" uses formal language, this is because there is a general audience being spoken to rather than a specific person. Next, when it came down to the rhythm used, "Mother to Son" used a irregular beat like walking a staircase, and "The n***o Speaks of rivers" used a regular beat. Metaphors were used a lot in "Mother to Son" and "The n***o Speaks of Rivers" used a similar amount of metaphors and similes. So the poet Langston Hughes, overall message about r****m was a couple of things. Firstly no matter how much you are but down and how miserable you feel, still try and get on with your life without giving up completely. The other message was that blacks have a rich and strong culture and history just as whites do. Oliver McLaughlin 10ff ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Ted Hughes section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Ted Hughes essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    A Review of the Work and Play poem By Ted Hughes

    3 star(s)

    This gives us an impression of the swallow's impact and body shape, as she dives in. The writer uses alliteration in the second line, "...flings from the furnace" and the word 'flings' creates a sense of movement, it makes the reader read with expression.

  2. Animal Imagery in Ted Hughes Poetry - The Jaguar, The Thought-Fox and Ghost Crabs.

    The Jaguar, different than other animals, walks up and down in his cage and is active. The cell of the Jaguar isn't described as a cage like the other animals, but as a prison, in which the lack of freedom and captivity is emphasized.

  1. An analysis of the poem 'Swifts' by Ted Hughes.

    As well as making them sound powerful and dangerous, Hughes also draws attention to their delicacy in flight, as they 'tremble', 'flicker' and are 'Gnat-whisp frail'. In a striking construction, Hughes juxtapose (sets together as a contrast) extremes of weight and lightness, "leaden velocity and their butterfly lightness' this adds transience.

  2. How effectively does Hughes convey the power of the jaguar?

    Also, fossils like ammonites are coiled in shape so it is therefore a justified comparison. The end of the second line of stanza two is: "cage after cage seems empty" which signifies the monotonous appearance of the cages, which hold very little activity as all the animals therein are barely

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work