Thank You, M'am Questions and Answers
by Langston Hughes

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What is the tone of "Thank You, M'am"?

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Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Tone refers to the way the author feels about the subject of the story. I would, therefore, describe the tone of this story as sympathetic and even approving.

Mrs. Jones could have called the police on Roger, the young man who tries to steal her purse, but she decides to treat him with empathy and compassion instead. She feeds him, gives him a place to clean himself up, and shows him kindness when she gives him the money he needs to purchase the shoes he wants. Mrs. Jones admits that she, too, has done some things that she is not proud of, refusing to judge the boy harshly for his mistake. As a result, she is presented as an incredibly thoughtful and perceptive individual who empathizes with others rather than judging them, and this makes it seem as though Langston Hughes very much approves of her actions. He presents Roger sympathetically, as someone who has not had many opportunities to learn in his life rather than as some young hooligan.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write15,968 answers

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The tone of this story is humorous, ironic, hopeful,...

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