Thank You, Ma’am Summary
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“Thank You, Ma’am” is a short story by Langston Hughes that features two characters: Roger, a young African-American boy, and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, an elderly African-America woman. One day, Roger attempts to steal Luella’s purse. He slips and falls during the attempt, and Luella kicks him in the backside before lifting him up and shaking him.
Luella interrogates Roger and learns that he has no one at home taking care of him, not even to wash his face. Luella tells Roger that he’s going to get his face washed today, and drags him to her house in a half-nelson wrestling hold.
Once at Luella’s home, the two talk about Roger’s home life. Luella makes a point of leaving her front door open, and when she releases Roger, she presents him with a choice: he can go and wash his face and get a meal, or he can run home. Roger chooses to wash his face.
Roger explains why he was trying to rob Luella. He wants money to buy a new pair of suede shoes. Luella continues to leave the door open, and even leaves her purse nearby when she goes to cook a pot of lima beans. Roger chooses again not to run off.
As they eat, Luella tells Roger about her job. She works the late shift at a hotel beauty shop. The two share a small cake. Then Luella gives Roger ten dollars for his shoes, and tells him to leave.
Luella leads Roger to the front door. He cannot even manage to say a simple thank you. He leaves, and the two never see each other again.
“Thank You, Ma’am” focuses on poverty and forgiveness. While Hughes is well-known for writing about matters of race—and race is mentioned and important in this story—, this story’s lessons also transcend race. Luella is tough and honest, and also trusting and steadfast in her beliefs. The faith she shows in Roger’s ability to eventually make the right choices shows the power of empathy and humanity. The reader is asked to have a similar faith, as we never learn how Roger’s life unfolds after this incident.
Thank You, M'amby Langston Hughes serves as a guide to young adults. In writing a persuasive essay about it, the writer must convince the reader that a particular point of view is the best and only real opinion that has any relevance. Therefore, it is necessary to use textual evidence to prove that this short story is an inspirational story, if that is your opinion, or an unrealistic impression if that is your opinion....
Thank You, M'am by Langston Hughes serves as a guide to young adults. In writing a persuasive essay about it, the writer must convince the reader that a particular point of view is the best and only real opinion that has any relevance. Therefore, it is necessary to use textual evidence to prove that this short story is an inspirational story, if that is your opinion, or an unrealistic impression if that is your opinion. I prefer the optimistic choice and like to consider that this is an inspiration to others who may be persuaded to emulate Mrs. Jones's actions for no reason other than the fact that it is the right thing to do.
In considering this position, therefore, the introduction should be in the first person plural- "we" - so that the reader feels included in reaching a conclusion. The writer should state his argument so that the reader understands and there is no room for confusion. The thesis statement could say, for example, something about how kind actions have effects that can be felt forever, how second chances apply to everyone, and raising expectations helps young people learn and rise to a higher standard.
There needs to be about three body paragraphs and in each one, the writer needs to discuss the relevant issues that will contribute to stating and persuading the reader about this story. One paragraph could be about their initial meeting and how Mrs. Jones soon notices Roger's dirty face and decides to do something about it, even though he has just tried to steal from her. It should also discuss Roger's initial hostility, even though he is the perpetrator because, in the second body paragraph, the writer can show how his attitude is changing, and by the third how he is transformed. Show how his behavior and attitude reveal that even Roger believes that he can do better. A good example of this is when he offers to run an errand.
In the conclusion, wrap up the ideas from the first paragraph about how the goodness of man is endless (Mrs. Jones just wants what is best, even for this complete stranger and even makes sacrifices for Roger. The $10 she gives him is hard-earned) and the effects of that goodness are immeasurable. Confirm that even Roger believes he can do better and remind the reader that second chances are perfect learning opportunities.