What makes "Thank You M'am" a story with powerful insights into communication? 

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story “Thank You M’am” is a great story because it had universal themes that mean something to all of us.  The attempted purse-snatching demonstrates the need for communication in our society.  If Roger had talked to someone about his desire for the shoes, he might have avoided taking the step he came to regret.

Communication is also important because Roger and Mrs. Jones do come to understand each other once she learns what he wanted, and he realizes that she knows where he’s coming from.

"Well, you didn’t have to snatch my pocketbook to get some suede shoes," said Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. "You could of asked me."

She goes on to tell him she’s done things she was not proud of.  We can all relate to these moments, when we made a mistake but a wise adult helped turn it into a learning opportunity.  Some of the most powerful communication in the story comes not from words, but from mutual understanding.

He did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.

This communication, when he does not try to run away, is powerful and insightful.  It shows that Roger, and many others, can be reformed with only a little bit of effort.