Glow In The Dark 'And Thank You M' Am

770 Words4 Pages
In this essay, we shall compare and contrast two short stories: “A Glow in the Dark” by Gary Paulsen, and “Thank You M’am” by Langston Hughes. “A Glow in the Dark” is about a man dogsledding through a forest and encountering a strange, eerie light. He then finds out that it is nothing scary. “Thank You M’am” is about a boy named Roger who tried to steal a woman’s pocketbook. The woman ends up feeding him, washing him, and giving him 10 dollars to buy blue suede shoes. These two short stories both include elements of fear and doubt, care and protection, and elements of relief. However, these stories also have a few differences. Some of these differences are the different relationships between the characters, the way the characters conquer…show more content…
At the story’s denouement, the main characters and the dogs both show relief when they find out that the “eerie green-yellow glow” (Paulsen, 323) is not a ghost or a demon, but a normal stump. “[He] found out later that it glowed because it had sucked phosphorus from the ground up into the wood and held up light from the day all night.” (Paulsen, 324) Similarly, we see elements of relief at the end of “Thank You M’am” when Roger leaves Ms. Jones’ home. “He 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” (Hughes, 392). This shows that he was thankful for everything Mrs. Jones had done for him and relieved that he wasn't sent to jail. The first difference between the two stories is the relationship between the characters. In “A Glow in the Dark” we see a man-animal relationship, whereas we see more of a thief-victim relationship at the beginning of “Thank You M’am”. Towards the end of “Thank You M’am” we see more of a mother-son relationship. As the main character in “A Glow in the Dark” approaches the “eerie green-yellow light” (Paulsen, 323), he was “holding to each dog like a security blanket” (Paulsen, 323). This
Open Document