In "Thank You, M'am" by Langston Hughes, describe what Roger looks and feels like when he leaves Mrs Jones' house.

Expert Answers

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

Roger, a boy and petty thief, has had the apparent misfortune to try and steal from Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones, a lady who keeps everything in her purse except "hammer and nails." However, Mrs Jones is a kindly lady who recognizes Roger's situation and remembers her own childhood when she "wanted things I could not get." She takes him home with her as she can see his dirty face and clothes and takes this opportunity to teach him  the merits of honesty and fairness. Roger does try to get away, thinking that she is going to take him to jail but he is scared and perhaps a little intrigued by Mrs Jones' behavior as she makes him wash his face and tell her why he really wanted to steal.  

It seems that Roger does appreciate what Mrs Jones is doing for him, even offering to go to the store for her but is left almost speechless after being ushered out of the door, $10 in hand to buy his blue suede shoes, with a clean face and a full stomach. He is obviously humbled by the experience but can't express the words and barely manages to say "Thank you M'am."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team