why do you think the women took the boy home?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Mrs. Jones' actions in taking Roger home form the basis of the short story.  Essentially, this becomes one of the major significant elements of the plot.  The story sort of stops in its tracks if she does not take Roger home.  I think that her motivation in taking Roger home also becomes an essential part of her characterization in the short story as well as how she resonates in the reader's mind.  I feel that she takes him home because she recognizes in him her own past.  For what it's worth, there "were things" that she did in her past towards which Mrs. Jones does not feel pride or joy.  In being unable to change her own past, she takes Roger home to help him avoid some of these same errors.  It is here where reflecting about her actions and thinking about why she takes Roger home is essential to the point that Hughes is seeking to make in the story.  At some level, Hughes seems to be forcing an examination of social values in which older people see themselves as guardians of the younger people, a setting in which people do not see children as merely "someone else's child," but rather in which older individuals see their role as helping out a new generation so that the mistakes made in the past that could not be repeated.  It is in this light that her taking Roger home is significant and why I think she does so.


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