How does Langston Hughes support his main idea in the short story "Thank You, M'am"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

"Thank You, Ma'am" is a short story by Langston Hughes in which young Roger finds himself in the grip of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones after attempting to steal her purse. It is Luella's unconventional response to Roger and the relationship that forms between them that demonstrates the main idea of trust and compassion in the story.

As Roger is being firmly gripped by Luella, he tells her that he "didn't aim" to steal her purse. She immediately recognizes his response as a lie, and she tells him so. When she asks if he will run if she releases her grip, Roger is honest and shares that he would run. He does attempt to free himself, but he is no match for Luella. Upon entering her home, Luella releases Roger and tells him to wash his face.

Roger's next action shows that trust is beginning to form. He has an opportunity to run, but he instead chooses to do as he is told. Another example of trust is demonstrated when Luella says she believes Roger tried to steal from her because he was...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 990 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team