(Thank You Maam is a story of love, affection and trust. It wins the hearts of readers easily. )
1) Discuss the central idea of the story ” Thank You Maam”.
Langston Hughes’ short story ” Thank You Maam ” tells the story of two characters– Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones and a young boy named Roger.
Transformation from the unfair ways of living to a right one is treated to be the central idea of the present story.
The plot reveals that Roger tries to snatch away Mrs Jones’ purse to satisfy his needs . But instead of giving him to jail or any other punishment , she takes him to her house and feeds him with motherly affection.
Mrs Jones realises perhaps the boy has not taken his supper yet. When they are finished with eating she gives him ten dollars for buying a pair of blue suede shoes.
Roger does not find adequate word to show his gratitude to her. The focus is that kindness and goodness can change a person more effectively than imposing fear and punishment. Perhaps Roger has been detailed from the main track being poverty-striken.
2) Discuss the significance of the title “Thank You Maam”.
Ans: “Thank You Maam” by Langston Hughes is indeed a story of human values. The entire plot centers round the two major characters Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones and Roger, a boy. At the outset we see that Roger tries to snatch away Mrs Jones’ purse but fails . He is caught by Mrs Jones and she drags him to her room. But instead of sending him to jail , Mrs Jones gives him love and affection. She gives Roger food to eat and also money to buy blue suede shoes for which he has done the crime. Roger is overwhelmed by her kindness. Perhaps he has been getting hatred from society for his misdeeds. Perhaps anyone has never taught him right from wrong like Mrs Jones. To show his gratitude to her Roger wants to say something else other than “Thank You Ma’am”. But he could only say “thank you”. His unexpressed expression reveals the depth of his feelings that altered him. So the title is apt and just.
3) Character of Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones.
Ans: In the story “Thank You Maam” by Langston Hughes Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones is rather an exceptional character who altered a misled young boy by her kindness. While returning from her everyday duty at night, Mrs Jones met Roger who tried to take away her purse. But he failed to do that. Mrs Jones dragged him to his room. Surprisingly instead of sending him to jail, she gave him motherly affection and treated him as her son. She applied heat to some lima beans and ham that she had kept in the icebox. She made cocoa out of canned milk. Then she set the table and dined together. She also gave him a half of her ten-cent cake. The readers are pleased to learn that the generous did not forget to give him ten dollars for buying blue suede shoes. Mrs Jones establishes the lesson for society that only love and affection, not hatred, can change a man.
4) ” Now ain’t you ashamed of yourself ?” –Who said this and to whom ? What had the person spoken to done to feel ashamed of ? What did the speaker tell the person to do before asking this ?
Ans: Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones said this to Roger in the story “Thank You Maam” by Langston Hughes.
Mrs Jones was walking alone when it was about eleven o’clock at night. She was carrying a large purse slung across her shoulder. From behind Roger tried to take away the purse. So Mrs Jones thinks he should be ashamed of himself.
Before making the above remark, Mrs Jones ordered Roger to pick up her pocketbook and give that to her. Though she hold him, she bent down to help him stoop and pick up her purse.
5) Sketch the character of Roger.
Ans: Roger is one of the two major characters of the story ” Thank You Maam” by Langston Hughes. He is the representative of the unwanted fellows who perhaps become the victims of circumstances and slip of the main flow of society.
The story reveals that Roger depends on unfair means for buying a pair of blue suede shoes. He tries to snatch Mrs Jones’ purse. He is caught and dragged by Mrs Jones to her room . When Mrs Jones goes behind the screen leaving her purse on day-bed , he does not run or touch her purse. Rather he sits in such a position so that Mrs Jones can see him if she wants. Roger does not trust the lady not to trust him .When he gets motherly affection from Mrs Jones, Roger begins to prove that even a rogue like him has a little goodness to alter himself. As his parting words, Roger can only say “Thank You” to show his gratitude to Mrs Jones.
**Textual grammar from Thank You Ma’am