In "Thank You, M'am," what scene in the story can be pictured vividly?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several sections of Langston Hughes's short story, "Thank You, M'am," which allow the reader to visualize a particular scenario. Hughes wastes no time in introducing a strong character in the form of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. Although Roger is the aggressor and attempts to steal Mrs. Jones's purse, the reader can visualize a very assertive woman right from the beginning so that, moments later when Roger tries and fails to take Mrs. Jones's purse, the reader can picture Mrs. Jones's reaction as she "kicked him right square in his blue-jeaned sitter." This creates a very vivid image in the mind's eye and the reader is in no doubt that Mrs. Jones is fearless and certainly a champion for the cause of any victim. When she says, "When I get through with you, sir, you are going to remember Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones," the reader is inclined to believe her!

When Mrs. Jones puts "a half-nelson about his (Roger's) neck," the reader is amused at the mental picture as Hughes again creates this vivid image of the situation as Mrs. Jones drags Roger unwillingly towards and into her house where she still has him "by the neck." The reader can imagine a "frail and willow-wild" boy who is regretting his decision to pick on Mrs. Jones that evening.