“Thank You Ma’am” is an American short story written by Langston Hughes. The story was published in 1958; however, some people, including me, seem to believe that it was written in the 1930’s due to the racial undertones (www.americanliterature.com 1). Also, Langston wrote many of his short stories in the 1930’s. In the story, a boy named Roger tries to steal a purse from what seems to be a large, African American, elderly lady named Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. When Roger reaches out and snatches the purse, he loses his balance and falls flat on his back. Mrs. Jones simply gives him a swift kick in the rear and tells him to get up. Then, instead of continuing to beat him, she sees his dirty face, and her motherly instincts resurface. She carries the boy home, makes him wash his face, cooks him a hot meal, and then gives him the money that he was trying to steal. Why she does this, I do not quite understand, but the traits such as her size, strength, name, and motherly instincts may provide the reader with a clear explanation of the woman Langston Hughes was portraying throughout this story as well as provide insight as to why others have seen the character as a symbolic feature of slavery.
The story repetitively states that Mrs. Jones is a large woman which is very significant to the story. For instance, one quote says, “She was a large woman with a large purse that had everything in it but hammer and nails” (Hughes 1). I imagine her to be a big woman with long,
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One small act of kindness has the potential to change a life. This heart warming story “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes introduces Mrs.Jones, a big strong willed woman. Roger, a young troubled boy, runs into Mrs.Jones and she changes his life forever. In this short story, Roger tries to steal from Mrs.Jones. After being unsuccessful instead of punishing Roger, she takes him to her home, washes him, feeds him, and gives him the money that he before tried to steal. The author makes the point that no matter how different two people can be, their stories can be very similar teaching the reader to never
In the book “Thank You, Ma’am” Hughes sets the tone for how people are to be treated. Even though the book is not in public domain does not mean we cannot read parts of it and apply it to our lives now. In this short story book, he details an interaction of a young black child, Roger, who tries to steal a purse but is stopped. What he doesn’t know is the purse he will try to steal is that of a strong-willed lady, Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. In the story, he depicts Roger as a dirty boy trying to survive on the streets. He must resort to stealing things to survive. When he encounters Mrs. Jones, she shows him some tough love “Then it will get washed this evening, said the large woman starting up the street, dragging the frightened boy behind her” [Thank You Ma’am]. This shows that even though he did wrong she still treated him with respect. Hughes was known for writing his short stories, poems, and Jazz music that had to do with African Americans and the racial issues that he faced. He was noted to be only a “few black authors to champion racial consciousness as a source of inspiration, and cautioned young writers to avoid racial chauvinism and virulent anger in their work toward whites.” He did not want society to write angrily with another race but simply embrace and love each other.
Jones notices how dirty Roger’s face was, she took him to her house to wash up, saying that she would take him nowhere, not even to the police, until his face was clean. This proves that in a way, she was caring for the young boy. After Roger listens to the large woman, she has him stay for a while for dinner. She left the door open, left her purse on her day bed, close to Roger, and turned her back on him and her purse several times, almost like she was testing Roger to see if he would try to escape and steal her purse. “The door was open. He could make a dash for it down the hall. He could run, run, run, run, run”! (Hughes 2). However, Roger never took her purse and ran off, he stayed. In fact, Roger even moved closer to Mrs. Jones so she can see him out of the corner of her eye. This proves that they start to grow a trusting bond with each other, causing them to be slightly kind to each
Have you ever thought of stealing, for something you dearly wanted, and would do anything to get it? Well Langston Hughes wrote “Yes Ma’am” about a young boy named Roger. Roger wanted blue suede shoes, but didn’t have money to buy them. He saw Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, and tried to steal her purse, but failed to do so. Hoping to shape him up, she treats him like her own son, and cares for him, though there is no one at his house to go home to.
“The boy wanted to say something other than “‘Thank You, M'am”’ to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, but although his lips moved, he couldn’t even say that as he turned at the foot of the barren stoop and looked at the large woman in the door”(130). Langston Hughes wrote an enduring short story called “Thank You Ma’m” that starts off with an old lady strolling an urban city at about eleven o'clock at night. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington-- otherwise known as “a large old lady” (10) teaches a lesson to Roger-- a thief searching for money to buy blue suede shoes. A central idea of “Thank You, Ma’m” is that believing in someone, despite extraordinary circumstances can change someone for the better.
Langston Hughes has a type of cynical view on America that seems to change its taste as he gets older. The first to look at is “I,Too” where he seems to have a hopeful view of his country and separates the citizens from the country. He says things such as “They’ll see how beautiful I am” which shows that he feels good about his future and the future of racial tension. Which he then transitions into “Let America be America again” where he is crtizieing the American people for saying that they are about liberty and freedom when they are his oppressors. It’s more of a call to action than his last few poems he is more so pointing out the injustices than just stating that there are some. And by the tone of the poem you can tell that he has lost
Have you ever help someone that try to do you wrong? ¨Thank You, M'am.¨ by Langston Hughes is about a woman that helps out a young man. ¨ A Victim Treats His Mugger Right¨ by Michael Garofalo is about a man that helps the guy that try to steal from him. Julio Diaz and Mrs. Jones both help this young boys in many ways when they try to do something bad to them.Mrs. Jones and Julio Diaz have many things in common.
In the story Thank You, M’am by Langston Hughes Mrs.Jones treated Roger very generously because she didn't put him in jail, she gave him $10, and she gave him some hot cocoa and ham. In paragraph 27 and 28 the author writes, “You gonna take me to jail?” Asked the boy, bending over the sink. “Not with that face, I could not take your nowhere.” This quote supports the claim because not taking him to jail, this means she gave him a chance. This means she generous, but if she did take to jail this means she does not give anyone another chance most likely. Another piece of evidence is on paragraph 42 the author writes, “ She heated up some Lima beans and ham she had in the icebox, made some cocoa, and set the table. The women did not ask the boy
Langston Hughes’ coming of age story “ Thank you Ma’am” takes place in a town where a boy is struggling for money. This boy’s name is Roger. Roger thinks he needs money so much that he decides to try and rob that money from a lady’s big and heavy purse . Roger instead falls down and gets caught by the lady. One lesson in this story is sympathy because if someone is in a bad situation that another person can relate to then that person would want to help.
Ramona was an innocent looking girl, right? So her parents thought she was, but oh no they were wrong. That night she went out attempted to rob a bank her former friends, parents owned. In the story, Thank You, Ma’am, Langston Hughes, the author, shows how the main character Roger gets taught a lesson after trying to take something that wasn’t his. When one makes a bad mistake, a lesson must be learned from, yet with care.
How do you put all your greatness in one essay? The answer is you start with your foundation. My foundation comes from my mother and my faith. A foundation is the greatest when it comes to building because a structure that does not have a great foundation will fall. Threw my seventeen years of living I have learned and grown because of my mother. Many times in my life I felt like giving up on different things but my mother would come along and encourage me to never give up never give in. I always thought of “Mother to Son” poem by Langston Hughes when he writes “Don’t you set down on the steps ’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now—For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal
In the short story “Thank You M’am,” By Langston Hughes, forgiveness, kindness, and empathy have a positive impact on the main character's life. Mrs. Jones, “a large woman with a large purse,” had a positive impact on Roger, the main character. To help Roger, Mrs. Jones took him home one night after he had tried to steal her purse. He tried to steal her purse because he wanted some new blue suede shoes and he didn't have the money, which we found out later in the story. You may think, why would she help him after he did such a thing? It’s because Mrs. Jones thought farther and realized that there could be a reason he did this.
The world can be a scary place with bad people. In the story, “Thank You Ma’am”, by Langston Hughes, the theme is respect, Mrs.Jone, a brave woman, definitely experienced the scariness, of a boy trying to steal her purse,and she could of called the police but she didn't . So shows a lot of respect to the boy. She respects the boy Roger because she lets Roger into her house and gives Roger money.
Sometimes people can seem cruel and mean, yet underneath the cruelty kindness and compassion that can be is cruel or mean when provoked. Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes is a perfect example of that, how at the beginning she seemed cruel and unusual with her punishment of the child. Then when she got the child home all she could be was nice by having him cleaned, feeding him. All she wanted to do was make him a honest person, just like a mother.
What would you do if all you wanted was a pair of shoes? Roger’s idea was to take Mrs. Jones pocketbook. However, that did not seem to work. The creative title, dynamic conflict, and extremely bold characters give the story “Thank you Ma'am”, written by Langston Hughes, tremendous twists and turns. The title is a significant part of the story “Thank you Ma'am.”