Thank You M'am
The Writer - Langston Hughes
The story “Thank You Ma’am” is about an old lady walking alone in the dark, when suddenly a boy tries to snatch her purse. However, during the attempt, he loses his balance and falls down on the pavement, and the lady, who, of course, is annoyed by the boy’s behavior, picks him up and gives him a proper lesson. She decides to bring him home to her house so he can wash his face and have a nice meal, before she hands him some money to buy the blue suede shoes he has wanted for such a long time.
Themes in the Story
The story appears to be written around the 1930's where racism was a huge topic in the southern states. Back in that era many African-Americans had problem looking for a job. It was the time when the black had to fight for their freedom. Another theme that may be inferred from ...view middle of the document...
Instead of turning him in to the police, she takes him home and gives him some desperately needed care and attention.
I believe the story is homage to the strong black women who has the ability to care for anyone and everyone. Not only does "Thank-you Ma’am" teach an important life lesson, it reminds us that no one is perfect. We feel that the author is trying to tell us not to sit back and judge our youth by the things they do now. Even Mrs. Jones made mistakes in her day and she still sees something in Roger. Maybe she saw a little bit of herself.After a while she said, “I were young once and I wanted things I could not get.” “I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son – neither tell God if He didn’t already know.”Both the examples indicate that she might have seen a bit of herself in Roger, might be one of the reasons of her kind behavior towards him. Hughes’ characterization of Mrs. Jones is fully realized and evocative; he provides just enough detail to make her an individual, yet at the same time expects us to call upon our own knowledge and experience of women like her. Yet in a sly ironic twist, he turns her from a frightfully aggressive, physically imposing woman to a gentle, saintly, motherly type, through words and actions that are entirely unexpected, in fact in what seems to be direct opposition to what we might expect. The story is told by a third person, a person who describes all the things that are happening, and all the things the persons are saying. No one’s thoughts are declared, so this may affect how we perceive the theme of the story, because we have to think with our selves what each of the persons are thinking and feeling.Langston Hughes uses conflict and imagery to express the theme of giving and understanding by showing compassion. Roger tries to grab the purse from Mrs. Jones but remains unsuccessful. She asked him, “Was I bothering you when I turned that corner?" "He replied saying "No' m."Here is where the author shows and uses conflict.