What are 3 character traits of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones from "Thank You M'am?"

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kcoleman2016 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Langston Hughes' short story "Thank You, M'am," revolves around the interactions between Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones and Roger. Through her actions, speech, physical description, relationship with Roger, and his observations of her, Jones is built into a formidable character. 

Strong: Jones is both physically strong and mentally strong-willed. She is able to capture and carry/drag Roger after his attempt to steal her purse. However, she also is able to maintain a steely control over her own reactions and maintain her core beliefs in this situation. Her strength overwhelms Roger and he ends up complying with her demands of his behavior.

Empathetic: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, recognizing them as inherently human in a shared experience. Even though Roger's attempt to steal Jones' purse sets them on opposite sides of a conflict, Jones does not dehumanize Roger but instead tries to understand where he is coming from. 

Moral: Jones' actions are based on a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong, and she seeks to shape Roger's behavior to follow this same path. 

Read the study guide:
Thank You, M'am

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