Thank You Ma'am Theme

What is the theme in "Thank You, M'am" by Langston Hughes?

Major themes in "Thank You, M'am" are trust, forgiveness, and self-respect. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones tries to exemplify these qualities and teach them to Roger during their short interaction. She extends care, structure, and compassion to him by feeding him dinner after he almost robs her. We don't know what happens to Roger after their meeting, but we hope that Mrs. Jones has been a positive influence for him.

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One of the themes that develops in this story is the power of trust. Roger certainly doesn't deserve trust. The unlikely pair of Roger and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones only meet because Roger fails in his attempts to rob her.

In grace, Mrs. Jones reaches out to young Roger when she learns that he doesn't have anyone at home and is hungry. She first commands him to clean himself up; then she tells him that he will stay and eat with her.

Next, Mrs. Jones trusts Roger by making herself vulnerable, telling him that she's made her own share of mistakes—mistakes that are so grievous that she wouldn't even share them with God if He didn't know the truth anyways.

With this being said, she leaves her purse out in plain sight and goes around the corner. In this action she extends trust to Roger that he will neither steal from her nor run away. Because of this, he offers to go to the store for her if she needs anything else to prepare dinner. The two share a cordial meal. Roger has...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 820 words.)

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