Literary Analysis Of 'Thank You Ma Am' By Langston Hughes

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Jazmyne Nelson
Dr. Rose
English 101
December 11, 2017
Literary Analysis Langston Hughes’ short story entitled “Thank You Ma’am”, analyzes the interaction between Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones and Roger. It presents the readers, the idea of goodness, the theme of trust, forgiveness, and kindness. Hughes is able to convert a language that is easier to understand by characterizing the context of story, advancing important themes, and using dialogue among the characters. Trust is one of themes that stood out while analyzing the short story. Though Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones has been victimized Roger worries that she won’t trust him, so he moves. The text states, “And he did not want to be mistrusted now.”(Hughes
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Luella Bates Washington Jones as she drags Roger home with her. Once inside, she asks him to tell her his name and to wash his face in the sink. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones forgives him with her motherly nature by saying, “ You ought to be my son I would teach you right from wrong.”(Hughes Pg.1) She is a powerful presence in Roger’s life for a short period of time. It is also, by forgiving Roger, that Mrs. Jones helps him open his eyes to the idea of choice. The combination of her sternness and compassion affects Roger tremendously. The text states, “ The boy wanted to say something else other than “Thank you, ma’am” to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, but he couldn’t do so ..”(Hughes Pg.3) Instead of forgiving him, had Mrs. Jones handed him over to…show more content…
The style of which the story is being written is both descriptive and quite colorful, for example, “Um-hmm!... Ain’t you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face?”(Hughes pg.1) Hughes also introduces some specific languages and styles of literary devices such as repetition, hyperboles, and interjection. He also uses an exaggeration when trying to make a point, for example, “She said, ‘You a lie!’”( Hughes pg.1 ). You can’t actually be a lie so this was very exaggerated and emphasized. Also, he appeals to the reader 's senses with his very simplicit style of writing. Langston Hughes writes very simple and to the point for example, “ She was a large woman with a large purse that had everything in it but a hammer and nails.” (Hughes Pg.1) This quote gives you a quick description of who Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is.“Thank You Ma’am” is clear about its meaning and uses dialogue to explain the theme and meaning of the
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