In the Langston Hughes story "Thank You, M'am," how does the culture of the the characters affect their decisions?  

In this story, we can appreciate that Mrs. Jones has been raised in a culture where she is encouraged to take care of herself because she is walking alone at 11pm. She is unafraid to defend herself against the boy who has assailed her. Meanwhile, the boy, despite having attempted a mugging, is subsequently very polite and afraid, addressing the woman as "ma'am" and showing remorse, which is also evidence of the culture in which he has been raised.

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The culture in which we are raised affects all of our decisions, one way or another. We cannot identify exactly what sort of culture Mrs. Jones and the boy in this story have been raised in, although we can infer that they are African American and from working class neighborhoods. However, we can certainly see the evidence of their socialization in the way they behave.

For example, Mrs. Jones has evidently been raised in a culture that impresses upon her the value of being able to take care of herself. She is not afraid to be walking alone at eleven o'clock at night in a neighborhood where she might be mugged, which is what the boy tries to do to her here. She reacts to the attack in a canny fashion which suggests she has dealt with this sort of situation before, and her behavior towards the boy is no-nonsense and unafraid. This is an example of how her culture has shaped her.

The boy reacts to Mrs. Jones in a way also shows evidence of the culture he comes from. He is immediately sorry...

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