Thank You Ma'am Analysis - Setting, Characters, and Themes by Langston Hughes

Thank You Ma'am Analysis

In this Thank You Ma'am analysis, I'll talk about the Setting, Characters, and Themes of this powerful piece by Langston Hughes. After reading the poem, you should have a better idea of why the story is so compelling. If you haven't read it yet, it's well worth reading. It is an excellent example of the importance of reading a piece of literature thoroughly before deciding whether or not to study it further.


The short story "Thank You, Ma'am" by Langston Hughes has a few key themes that focus on shame, dignity, and second chances. The story follows the life of a fifteen-year-old boy, Roger, and a kindhearted woman, Mrs. Luella Jones. In the short story, the power of choice is highlighted through the dialogue that Roger exchanges with the woman. In this thank you ma'am analysis, we will explore how Mrs. Jones changes Roger's perspective through the interaction with her.

Despite the short story having only two characters, Langston Hughes used indirect characterization to establish their personalities. This method of development allowed the reader to see a different side of each character than the main character, which allowed the audience to see both of them through a broader perspective. In the story, the two main characters, Roger and Luella, are described as being different and unique. The similarities between the two characters are evident in both their differences and similarities.


"Setting a Thank You Ma'am" by Langston Hughes can be difficult to pinpoint. Although the story is written in the 1950s, Hughes didn't explicitly state where the story takes place. The story itself is based around race and racism in pre-Civil Rights Era America. The story's setting, however, is an important part of the overall context. As such, setting can provide insight into the character's motivations.

The story is set in Harlem, New York, and depicts the complexities of second chances. As the main character, Roger, a young man in need of basic necessities, is trying to steal the purse from Mrs. Jones, he stumbles and falls to the floor, but Mrs. Jones kicks him mercilessly. As a result, the plot of the story becomes more complex than initially suspected.


Langston Hughes's story "Thank You, Ma'am" is about trust and dignity. In the story, a boy, Roger, tries to steal a woman's pocketbook, but she forgave him for trying. She also feeds him, making him lima beans and ham, and serving him hot cocoa. Mrs. Jones's compassion for Roger helps him understand her situation, and she forgives him later.

Despite the conflict in the story, the main theme of the short story is the importance of second chances. Both Langston Hughes' story and Saki's story feature themes of forgiveness and kindness. These themes are woven throughout both stories in a subtle way. Themes are a key aspect of these stories, and these themes are often hidden in unexpected places. In "Thank You, Ma'am," for example, the theme is hidden in the beginning, but it is not obvious until the end.

Themes in Langston Hughes' "Thank You Ma'am"

The theme of poverty dominates the plot of "Thank You Ma'am." The protagonist, Roger, tries to steal Mrs. Jones' purse in order to buy shoes. Hughes depicts this poor character in subtle ways, such as by showing her living in a rooming house with a small kitchen and late hours. She also addresses her own poverty in a direct dialogue with Roger.

Themes in Langston Hughes' "Thank you Ma'am" can be categorized into two broad categories. Themes of kindness and trust are prevalent, as are the themes of poverty and racism. The protagonist, Roger, is a young black boy who attempts to steal a purse from a white woman. In response, Mrs. Jones feeds and teaches him to be grateful and give back. In a way, this story is about caring for the disadvantaged and the poor.

Despite its complexity, "Thank You Ma'am" is a short story about the power of kindness. Although it involves a flippant young boy named Roger, it portrays the struggles and triumphs of two different worlds. In a time of racism, the story depicts the culture and values of 1950s America, and Hughes uses literary devices to create a twist in the reader's expectations. In doing so, the author develops a deeper meaning for the African characters.

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