"Thank You, Ma'am" By Langston Hughes Foss High School English Assignment

553 words - 3 pages

My group's short story is "Thank You, Ma'am" by Langston Hughes. It tells the story of Mrs. Jones, an elderly woman walking home, and Roger, a teenager who tries to steal her purse, so he can buy a new pair of blue suede shoes. She takes him to her home instead of the police station, gives him food and cleans him up. Mrs. Jones rather than looking for vengeance against Roger, helps him to understand life a little better by showing him kindness. She is attempting to show Roger that there is another way to live and there is no need to rob someone to obtain something that he wants. The end of the story is also interesting as there is a sense that Roger has never forgotten what Mrs. Jones has done for him. Though he could have been prosecuted for his actions, Mrs. Jones allowed Roger to leave her apartment without any obstacles being put in front of him. Mrs. Jones reminds me Bishop Myriel and Roger's situation is so similar to Jean Valjean's situation in "Les Misérables", a novel written by Victor Hugo. Throughout the novel, the Bishop is portrayed as being a holy man whose only purpose in life is to better the lives of those around him. Valjean was born a decent human being. Unfortunately, he was born into poverty, which forced him to steal to survive. After getting caught stealing a loaf of bread, he was imprisoned. A few years later, he was caught after escaping, he was then sent to the galleys for 19 years. He later escapes from there to go to a town where he was not wanted....

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