A folktale is a general term for any of numerous varieties of traditionalnarrative. The telling of stories appears to be a cultural and universal tradition,common to primitive and complex societies alike. Folktales are demonstrablysimilar from culture to culture, and comparative studies of themes and narrativetechniques have been successful in showing these relationships. Fairy tales areentirely fictional and often begin with such formulas as Once upon a time . Which is not the case in most folktales which useally express something commonto that culture. Folktales are stories that give people a means for sharing theirculture, history and values.
Andso was the case in Mother to Son by Langston Hughes. Hughes discussed problems common to people of color from his culture . One of the most powerfultools used by hughes is imagery . Hughes uses strong imagery to get a clearpicture across to the reader. As does he uses Irony and metaphors such assLifefor me aint been no crystal stair Its had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards tornup.
HUghes work can be described as a folktale. He writes exactly to fit thedefinition of the word folktale. And the same formula is used my many writersBibliography: