Paths are Like Stairs
Although they portray two very different writing styles, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Langston Hughes’s “Mother to Son” have a few things in common, especially their meanings.
In “The Road not Taken” Frost speaks of a time in his life where he had to make a choice, a choice of which direction his life was about to go: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood / And sorry I could not travel both” (1-2). “Mother to Son” also speaks of life in a metaphorical way, but as a staircase rather than two paths: “Well, son, I’ll tell you / Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” (1-2).
Later in “The Road Not Taken” Frost describes the appearance of each road, one as being less traveled on than the other by people before him who had to make the same decision: “And looked down one as far as I could / Then took the other, just as fair / Because it was grassy and wanted wear” (4,6,8). “Mother to Son” takes it another step as to describe the staircase the mother had to climb. She explains how hard it was but also how she never gave up: “It’s had tacks in it / And splinters / And boards torn up / But all the time / I’se been a-climbin’ on” (3-5,8-9).
“The Road Not Taken” ends by giving a moral to us about Frost’s life and the path he did take. Although Frost doesn’t thoroughly explain the path he took, the reader gets...