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In Thank You, M'am by Langston Hughes, the reader is introduced to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones at 11 o'clock at night as she walks home from work, alone. This already indicates that her income may be limited for two reasons. The first is that she is apparently working late shifts which will earn her extra income and she is walking alone quite late at night so does not have the benefit of her own transport, even at such late hours.
When Mrs. Jones takes Roger to her home, Roger notices that, from the voices he can hear, there must be other "roomers." The layout of Mrs. Jones's room also indicates that her living arrangements are quite simple. She has a "gas plate" and an "ice box" behind a screen, and she is sitting on the "day bed." These all suggest that her living quarters are quite basic and she lacks modern appliances (including a fridge).
The fact that Mrs. Jones so easily relates to Roger's circumstances is also indicative of her own. The 10 cent cake she is willing to share and her recollection that, when she was young, "I wanted things I could not get," even telling Roger that she has done things of which she is not proud, all reveal her own basic lifestyle. She willingly hands over the $10 because of this appreciation she has for his situation and because she knows that kindness is far more valuable than any possession or lifestyle.
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