What is a strong statement about the story "Thank you M'am"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The strong statements that come out of Hughes's short story relate to how people can relate to one another.

The first strong statement is that Human beings must show care towards one another.  Mrs. Jones does not have to care for Roger.  She could simply insist that the police get involved or even forget him as she reclaims her purse.  However, she recognizes that if she does not care for him, no one will. When Mrs. Jones says to him that he should be her son because she would help to establish a moral compass within him, it is clear that she understands her responsibility.  The ending where she gives him the money and implores him to make better choices in his life is reflective of how Hughes believes that human beings have to display love for one another.  While the world is difficult to endure, Hughes suggests that it can be better if people relate to one another through compassion.

Another strong statement is that People can be the miracle the world needs.  Mrs. Jones treats Roger fundamentally different than what is expected.  However, Mrs. Jones does not take the form of the world around her.  She feeds him, gives him money, and connects with him as a human being.  Her generosity leaves an impact on him.  While we don't know what is going to happen, we do know that his life has been changed because of Mrs. Jones.  She transforms him because she is different from the rest of the world.  She shows what can be as opposed to what is.  In depicting her as challenging conventional wisdom, Hughes uses Mrs. Jones to remind us that we can be our own miracles when we transform reality.

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