Would the first line of "Thank You Ma'm" be a hyperbole? Is the point of view and the tone a literary technique?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first line of "Thank You Ma'm is a hyperbole.  "She was a large woman with a large purse that had everything in it but hammer and nails."  This is an obvious over stated. She doesn't really have everything but a hammer and nails in her purse, Hughes is simply using a hyperbole as an attention getter and imagery to describe the large woman.  As far as the voice and tone of the story are concerned, this is definitely a literary technique. "Hughes chose to write in the idiom of black America and for more than forty years experimented with its cadences and accents. Most of “Thank You, Ma'am” is written in an urban dialect. This reliance on colloquial dialogue to reveal personality is one characteristic of the traditional African American oral style that Hughes often employs."