Optimism in "Mother to Son" and "I, Too" by Langston Hughes

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Optimism To overcome, to not give up, and to believe that one day change will come are some of the themes of optimism that Hughes demonstrates in his poetry. In “Mother to Son”, Hughes writes a monologue of a mother talking to her son explaining that life hasn’t been easy but she didn’t let that stop her. In this particular piece, as well as others, Hughes demonstrates that if you have that desire to keep going, so will your journey. Sometimes you have to do things that you wouldn’t have done before to get what you’ve never had. In another piece by Hughes, “I, Too”, he demonstrates how even though the “darker brother” doesn’t get treated as an equal now, there will come a day when [we] will gain the respect and equality we deserve. There will be a day when [I] will be will be recognized as an American just as others. These are just some of the visible themes Hughes displays in his poetry. Hughes metaphoric usage in these poems can open your mind to view his poems in many ways. Both poems have multiple interpretations but lead to the same point. In “Mother to Son” Hughes says “Life for me ain’t been no crystal staircase […] but all the time I’se been a-climbin’ on […] and sometimes goin’ in the dark where there ain’t been no light.” (Lines 2, 8-9) This quote demonstrates how life isn’t easy and things will get harder along the way but that doesn’t mean to give up. It also demonstrates how there are some things you didn’t imagine yourself doing but you had to in order to get to where you want to be in life. You’re going to have to do things in life that you haven’t done before so don’t be afraid to try. A failure only fails when he doesn’t try. Hughes also says, “Don’t you set down on the steps ‘cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now.” (Lines 15-17) Never back down from a challenge just because it seems difficult. Don’t stop
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