Thank You Ma Am Theme Essay

473 Words2 Pages
Imagine you try and steal a woman’s bag in the middle of the night, but you get caught. 1 hour later, your walk out of the woman’s house with $10 in your hand and a respect for all people. In the story “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, this is exactly what happens. A boy gets caught stealing a woman’s purse. You would think the woman would take the boy to jail, but instead, she teaches him a lesson and he leaves with a new attitude about life. One theme in the story “Thank You Ma’am” is if you give respect you get respect and vice versa.

First, Langston Hughes conveys the theme of not giving respect and in turn not gaining respect is when the boy first tries to steal the woman’s wallet. “...boy ran up behind her and tried to snatch her purse... The large woman simply turned around and kicked him right square in his blue-jeaned sitter.”(pg 5) The boy tries to steal the woman’s purse and the woman takes it as a disrespectful act. Due to this, the woman decides to kick him which shows the disrespect she
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‘Yes’m’ said the boy.”(pg 5)) and respectful(every time he responds he always says Yes’m or No’m). The woman, in return, wanted to also respect his privacy.

In conclusion, one theme in the story “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes is if you are honest, honorable and respectful to someone else, they will treat you in the same way. This theme doesn’t just apply to this story, though. In the real world, many conflicts could have been avoided if we had been even a little bit more respectful. If you say thank you, the other person will say you’re welcome. Giving and getting respect is an important concept that everybody should
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