3) Post-structural Theory of Criticism.
Through the literary works of Langston Hughes, it is clear to see that he uses his own style and language to portray realistic traits. The biographical theory of criticism can easily be used to criticize Hughes work, as well as the post-structural theory.
Hughes poem "Mother to Son" was written during the Harlem Renaissance. At this time in history, many African Americans expressed their thoughts through music, art, poetry and other areas of the arts. Hughes being a young black men growing up in the 1930's in America, expressed his opinions of the treatment of blacks through poetry. Writing exactly what he thought, his poems are very realistic, very similar to him. In "Mother to Son" he lets the readers know that everything in life is not going to be easy and that there are going to be trials that everyone will face in life.
Biographical Theory of Criticism.
"Mother to Son" Closely parallels the life of Hughes. Born in Missouri, Hughes lived with his grandmother until she died. He was twelve years old. Moving from place to place he learned at an early age that "life ain't gonna be no crystal stair." Since he lived with his grandmother as a child, the mother noted in the title of the poem is symbolic to his grandmother who taught him the values of life. .
Hughes moved to Harlem after he graduated from high school to continue his education. When people hear of Harlem "ghetto" comes to mind. Everyone knows that Harlem is not one of the greatest places to live. Living in Harlem most of his life, Hughes can easily relate to the "splinters and torn up boards" talked about in his poem.
Post-structural Theory of Criticism.
"Mother to Son" also contains important truth and values about life. This poem is often called an inspirational poem.