Thank You, Ma'amBy: Langston Hughes Genre: Short FictionPublished in 1958Mariah Polk
Main Characters: Mrs. Jones, an older african american women. "She was a large women with a large purse that had everything in it except hammer and nails" (Page 1).Roger, a teenage boy, who we discover is poor with no family. "He looked as if he were fourteen or fifteen, frail and willow-wild, in tennis shoes and jeans" (Page 1).
Setting: The beginning of the story takes place at 11 o'clock at night on the side of the street. "It was about eleven o'clock at night and she was walking alone" (Page 1).
Exposition: In the exposition we are introduced to the main character Mrs.Roger. She is a larger woman who is walking alone at 11 o'clock at night.
Rising Action: During this part of the story we are introduced to the other main character, Roger. Roger attempts to steal Mrs. Jones purse. He fails to do this because the purse is too heavy causing him to fall over. She picks him up and drags him to her house.
While in the home Mrs. Jones allows Roger to wash his face and she feeds him.
Climax: The climax of the story is when Roger, the teenage boy does not leave the house. Mrs. Jones lets him go when they reach her house, and Roger decides not to run away and to gain Mrs. Jones trust.
Situational Irony: Mrs.Jones gives Roger the ten dollars he was going to steal. She gave a robber money which is the opposite of what the audience was expecting to occur. “Now, here, take this ten dollars and buy yourself some blue suede shoes” (Page 3).
Barren (adjective, pg.3): bleak and lifeless "But he couldn't do so as he turned at the barren stoop" (Page 3). Stoop (verb, pg.1): bend one's head or body forward and downward "But she bent down enough to permit him to stoop and pick up her purse" (Page 1). Frail (adjective, pg.1): physically weak "He looked as if he were fourteen or fifteen, frail and willow-wild"(Page 1).
Tone: The tone of the short story, Thank You Ma’am, is compassionate. "but I wish you would behave yourself, son, from here on in" (Page 3).Theme: The theme of the short story is kindness. “Now, here, take this ten dollars and buy yourself some blue suede shoes. And next time, do not make the mistake of latching onto my pocketbook nor nobody else’s--because shoes come by devilish like that will burn your feet” (Page 3).