What does Mrs Jones' dialogue in "Thank you, M'am" by Langston Hughes, reveal about her? Support your answer with details from the story.(Cite page and line references)

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In this short story, Thank you Ma'am by Langston Hughes, the reader is introduced to what will definitely be a "no nonsense" kind of lady, "When I get through with you, sir, you are going to remember Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.” (page 2 line 3). She is a practical person with "everything in it (her purse) but hammer and nails."(line 1)

It is clear to the reader that Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones is a proud woman but her language use "Ain’t you got nobody home to tell you..."reveals her social status. She is not a wealthy person (with her "ten-cent cake"), despite her very grand name and demeanour. She does not believe  that there is any excuse, however, for misbehavior and "I would teach you right from wrong" (page 1) continues to reflect a dignified person, regardless of social standing. 

Mrs Jones's dialogue further reveals that she is not judgemental and, despite the boy trying to steal she recalls  “I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son."(line 1,page 3). Mrs Jones does not lecture the boy other than to remind him not to steal again, whether it be her "pocketbook nor nobody else’s." (page 3) She also expects nothing in return except  that the boy should "Behave yourself, boy!” The boy has learnt a valuable lesson. 

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