What is the conflict in "Thank You, M'am"?

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The main external conflict is considered the Man versus Man (or Woman) conflict that is seen between Roger and Mrs. Jones when he attempts to steal her purse and she defends herself. Another external conflict is a Man versus Society conflict, which involves Roger's struggle to survive in an economically disadvantaged community. The primary internal conflict is Roger's struggle to decide whether or not to flee Mrs. Jones's home.

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Roger places himself in direct physical conflict with Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones when he tries to mug her. Unfortunately for him, Mrs. Jones is not a woman who is easily taken advantage of, and she uses this conflict as an opportunity to offer Roger some guidance in how he...

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should treat people.

After dragging Roger to her house (which, it should be noted, he ultimately allows her to do), Mrs. Jones doesn't foster the conflict. Instead, she offers him a place to clean up, and after learning that he doesn't have anyone at home, she feeds the same boy who tried to rob her, even offering to give him money to run to the store if he needs something else for their dinner.

The larger conflict and the one which propelled the conflict between Roger and Mrs. Jones initially is the conflict between Roger and his society. He lives on the fringes, largely invisible, unloved, and without respect. He isn't yet hardened by this environment, as evidenced by the respect which he offers Mrs. Jones. Roger doesn't have anyone at home to remind him to wash his face, let alone anyone who can help him earn the money he needs to purchase the shoes he wants. Without guidance, Roger tries to create his own fortune by stealing from someone else. Mrs. Jones shows Roger another way to deal with this conflict. She tells him that he could have just asked her for the money, which Roger undoubtedly never considered. She's also shown him the very real humanity behind his floundering efforts toward crime, and hopefully this encounter changes Roger into a man who deals with the conflicts of his society in more productive ways.

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The primary external conflict in Langston Hughes's celebrated short story "Thank You, M'am" is considered a Man vs. Man (/Woman) conflict between Roger and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. At the beginning of the story, Roger attempts to steal Mrs. Jones's purse in order to buy a pair of blue suede shoes he cannot afford. When Roger grabs her purse, he stumbles and Mrs. Jones immediately grabs him by the collar. Roger is the perpetrator in this scenario and Mrs. Jones is quick to defend herself. Rather than call the police, Mrs. Jones drags Roger back to her home, where she feeds him and graciously gives Roger ten dollars to buy a pair of shoes.

A secondary external conflict is considered a Man vs. Society conflict, which involves Roger's struggle to survive in an economically depressed community. As a poor, black adolescent, Roger is at a disadvantage and considered an outcast in a society that favors privileged white citizens. Roger feels as though he must resort to crime in order to attain the things he desires.

The primary internal conflict is considered a Man vs. Self conflict, which concerns Roger's struggle to decide whether or not he should stay in Mrs. Jones's home or run out the door. Once Roger enters Mrs. Jones's home, he becomes wary and tries to read the situation. Eventually, Roger recognizes that Mrs. Jones has no intention of reporting him to the authorities and decides to stay. Roger also tries to earn Mrs. Jones's trust and is incredibly grateful for everything she does for him.

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In a literary work there is usually a conflict between two opposing forces. In general, there are four types of conflict: person vs. person, person vs. society, person vs. self and person vs. nature. In Langston Hughes short story "Thank You M'am" three of these types are included. First, there is a person vs. person conflict between young Roger and Mrs. Louella Bates Washington Jones when the boy attempts to steal the lady's purse, but is thwarted when she kicks him in the seat of his pants and grabs him. She then scolds him and says she will wash his face. Rather than turn him in to the police, she actually takes him home and gives him dinner. In her apartment Roger also experiences a conflict within himself. On one hand he wants to get away, but on the other he wants her trust him because she has treated him decently:

The woman did not watch the boy to see if he was going to run now, nor did she watch her purse which she left behind her on the daybed. But the boy took care to sit on the far side of the room where he thought she could easily see him out of the corner of her eye, if she wanted to. He did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.

Finally, while never explicitly stated, there is a conflict with society. Roger and Mrs. Jones live in a poor neighborhood where young boys such as Roger are allowed to roam the streets and have little to look forward to at home. Roger readily admits that, even though it is dinner time, there is nobody home at his house. In spite of this poverty, Mrs. Jones retains her dignity and looks to pass on her morality and self-respect to Roger who is obviously neglected by his parents. 

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There are several different conflicts present in this story. The first and most pronounced is the human v. human conflict between Ms. Washington and Roger. He tries to steal her purse and she drags him home to feed him. Roger is worried throughout the story if she is going to hurt him!

Also there is human v. self in the sense that Roger struggles with the decision of whether to stay in the small apartment or make a run for it. Also, Ms. Washington is also struggling to come to terms with her own past--she too was a troublemaker when she was Roger's age.

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What are some conflicts in Langston Hughes's short story "Thank You, M'am"?

The primary conflict in Langston Hughes's short story "Thank You, M'am" is considered a man versus man conflict between Roger and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. This conflict takes place at the beginning of the story, when Roger impulsively tries to steal Mrs. Jones's purse while she is walking home by herself. When Roger attempts to snatch Mrs. Jones's purse, he stumbles to the ground, which gives Mrs. Jones the chance to grab him by the collar and drag him to her home. Instead of calling the police, Mrs. Jones uses this conflict as an opportunity to guide Roger and exercise hospitality.

The second external conflict in the story is considered a man versus society conflict. The man versus society conflict is depicted through Roger's struggles to overcome his difficult environment. Roger suffers from poverty, grows up in a dangerous inner-city environment, and has a dysfunctional home life. When Roger comes in contact with Mrs. Jones, he is dirty, hungry, and desperate. As a member of the lower class living in a depressed, dangerous community, Roger is at a severe disadvantage, which influences him to resort to crime in order to attain the things he needs.

The internal man versus self conflict in the story concerns Roger's decision to accept Mrs. Jones's hospitality or flee her house. Initially, Roger worries that Mr. Jones will call the police and entertains the idea of running out of her home. After carefully assessing the situation, Roger recognizes that Mrs. Jones is a trustworthy, compassionate woman, and he decides to stay. Roger makes the right decision and is rewarded with ten dollars to purchase a pair of blue suede shoes at the end of the story.

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What are some conflicts in Langston Hughes's short story "Thank You, M'am"?

The central conflict in Langston Hughes's short story "Thank You, M'am" is character vs. society. Like many of his other works, Hughes uses his short story to capture the demeaning effects of oppression due to racism. Due to racism, people like Roger and Mrs. Jones live in poverty, which influences them to act out of desperation to meet their needs and wants.We can tell Roger is in a state of poverty because his face is so dirty that Mrs. Jones feels compelled to ask, "Ain't you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face," to which Roger replies, "No'm." This tells us that Roger is neglected and abandoned, possibly because he is raised only by one parent who must work endlessly to make ends meet or because both parents must work endlessly, leaving Roger to grow up on the streets, fending for himself, just like many of his race.Roger's poverty and neglect drive him to do things he is ashamed of doing such as to try stealing from innocent people because he dearly wants things he can't afford to buy like a "pair of blue suede shoes." Sometimes the desire to fulfill a want aches even more than the desire to fulfill a need, which is something Mrs. Roger understands from her own personal experiences, as she explains when she very compassionately confesses to having also done things she was ashamed of to get things she wanted but couldn't have. While the character vs. society conflict that both Roger and Mrs. Jones face creates a minor character vs. character conflict between them, portrayed in Roger trying to steal Mrs. Jones's purse at the beginning of the story, the character vs. character conflict is actually resolved early on in the story. The conflict is resolved the moment Mrs. Jones decides to forgive Roger and take him under her care for the evening. We can tell Mrs. Jones has forgiven him and has seen that what he really needs is care and attention the moment she says, "Um-hum! And your face is dirty. I got a great mind to wash your face for you. Ain't you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face?" These are not the words someone bent on vengeance or legal retribution would say. These are the words someone would say who has already recognized the condition of Roger's life and is ready to respond with forgiveness and compassion.

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What are some conflicts in Langston Hughes's short story "Thank You, M'am"?

The main conflict in “Thank You M’am” is character vs. character, but another important conflict is character vs. society, and there are internal conflicts.

The obvious character vs. character conflict is between Roger and Mrs. Jones.  He tries to steal her purse, and she makes him come home with her.

 She still held him. But she bent down enough to permit him to stoop and pick up her purse. Then she said, "Now ain’t you ashamed of yourself?" (p. 1)

The conflict is resolved because the two characters come to an understanding and appreciation for each other.

The second conflict is character vs. society, because both characters have had a rough go of it.  Mrs. Jones and Roger both wanted things they could not have, because society creates a materialistic need.

"I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son—neither tell God, if he didn’t already know."

Mrs. Jones realizes the draw of the shoes—and she gives Roger her hard-earned money so that he can have what he wants.

Finally, there are internal conflicts.  Mrs. Jones has to decide what to do about Roger after he attempts robbery, and she takes the unusual step of bringing him home with her.  Roger also has to decide whether to run away or not, and he decides not to.

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What is the main conflict in "Thank You, M'am" and how is it resolved?

The main conflict in “Thank You, M’am” is Roger’s internal conflict of whether or not to run away.

The initial conflict in the story is a character vs. character conflict between Roger and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.  Roger tries to steal Mrs. Jones’s purse, and Mrs. Jones not only prevents him, she basically kidnaps him.

Mrs. Jones asks Roger if she was bothering him, and he confirms that she wasn’t.

“But you put yourself in contact with me,” said the woman. “If you think that that contact is not going to last awhile, you got another thought coming. When I get through with you, sir, you are going to remember Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.”

Commenting that someone needs to wash his face, she asks him if he is hungry.  Mrs. Jones realizes that Roger is not a serious hoodlum.  He is a young boy who made a bad choice.  To keep him from making others, she takes him home and feeds him.

Roger is the one who has the conflict now.  He faces an internal conflict, which means character vs. self.  He has to decide what to do about Mrs. Jones.  Should he stay, or should he go?

“Then, Roger, you go to that sink and wash your face,” said the woman, whereupon she turned him loose—at last. Roger looked at the door—looked at the woman—looked at the door—and went to the sink.

The italics demonstrate Roger’s struggle to decide whether to stay or go.  In the end, he stays.  He continues to wonder what to do, but Mrs. Jones shows him empathy and explains to him how she understands his situation, and once was young herself and wanted things she could not have.  Mrs. Jones shows him kindness, and he returns the favor.  Not only does he not run, he even asks her if she needs anything.

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What are the external conflicts in "Thank You, M'am"?

In literary terms, an external conflict refers to the struggle a character has with another character or with other outside forces such as those in nature, society and so on. Such conflict adds drama to the plot and assists in defining and developing a character.

In Thank You M'am, the chief external conflict is the one between Roger and Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones. Roger tries to steal her purse, which starts the clash. The conflict is extended when she takes him prisoner by gripping him by his shirt front. Her question about whether he would run if she turned him loose and his reply that he would generate further conflict: she says that she will then not release him. 

A further suggestion of conflict between the two is when Mrs Jones declares that she is going to wash his face since he looks so dirty. Roger will evidently have no choice in the matter. This conflict is accentuated when she locks him in a half-nelson and then drags him to her home. There is a clear and direct conflict in this regard: Roger is Mrs Jones' unwilling captive and she his harsh but benign captor.

The conflict between the two is resolved when Roger decides not to attempt an escape and is given food by Mrs Jones. Further resolution is found in her decision to give him money to fulfill his desire for a pair of blue suede shoes, a want which led to the conflict in the first place.

Further external conflict lies in the economic and social conditions both characters face. It is obvious that both are challenged by impoverished conditions, Roger more than Mrs Jones, since she has learned to adjust and cope. A further external conflict for Roger is the fact that he does not seem to have anyone who cares much about him. He has to generally look after himself and he has, in this particular incident, tried to do just that.

This kind of behavior would also bring Roger in conflict with societal norms and values and, obviously, in conflict with the laws and those who uphold them. For Roger, though, things have turned out better for him than he could have expected.

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What are the external conflicts in "Thank You, M'am"?

The primary external conflict in the story is man vs. man (or in this case, person vs. person). From the beginning of the story, when Roger tries to rob Mrs. Jones, she sets out on a mission to dissuade him from his stealing ways. Roger, for his part, wants merely to escape punishment or consequences for his misdeeds, putting the two characters at odds with one another. The trajectory of this conflict is the plot arc for the story, as Mrs. Jones' intentions become more clear and as Roger learns to trust and respect her.

One could also make the argument that there is a man vs. society conflict as well. Roger is left behind and forgotten by the community and the system. With no parents at home to teach him right from wrong or take care of his needs, he resorts to stealing to get what he wants. In this way, he goes against the rules of society, and society is letting him down. This conflict is not as strongly resolved. readers can't say for sure how Roger will behave in the future and whether or not Mrs. Jones' influence will undo the neglect he's had from society thus far.

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Describe the conflict of the main characters in the story "Thank You, M'am."

While the main conflict in the story is man v. man, I think a solid argument could be made that there are several examples of man v. self conflicts.

The main source of conflict in the story is man v. man - in other words, this is when two characters (the protagonist and the antagonist) are against each other. In this case, Mrs. Bates and Roger are against each other since Roger attempted to steal Mrs. Bates' purse. The story says, "It was about eleven o’clock at night, and she was walking alone, when a boy ran up behind her and tried to snatch her purse." 

Furthermore, Mrs. Bates is not letting Roger get away with attempting to steal her purse. Instead, she is trying to teach him a moral lesson. This is where I think an argument can be made that there are some examples of man v. self conflicts. When there is a man v. self conflict, a character is struggling morally and may or may not succeed in overcoming that obstacle. 

After Mrs. Bates and Roger make it to her house, Roger struggles with deciding whether he should stay or make a run for it. The text says, "Roger looked at the door—looked at the woman—looked at the door—and went to the sink." This shows a man v. self conflict because since the moment Roger attempted to steal Mrs. Bates purse, he was trying to run away. However, this pivotal moment shows that he is deciding to stay with her instead of running. This demonstrates a change in Roger and his behavior. 

Another subtle example of a man v. self conflict is apparent in the way that Mrs. Bates reveals her intentions to Roger. She says, "I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son—neither tell God, if he didn’t already know..." This shows that Mrs. Bates might see a bit of herself in Roger, and therefore sees a greater need in helping him get back on the right track. 

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Who are the characters, and what is the conflict between them in "Thank You, M'am"?

In "Thank You M'am," the characters are Ms. Jones and Roger. These two characters are not related biologically, but they do seem to have had something in common along life's way. Both characters are lacking in financial income. Both have a struggle in life to make ends meet.

The difference in Ms. Jones and Roger is that Ms. Jones works hard for her money. Roger tries to steal her purse.

Although it appears that there is a major conflict between Ms. Jones and Roger, there is more understanding on Ms. Jones's part. She too was once young and she admits that she did wrong. She understands that Roger is a product of his environment. He has no one at home to teach him right from wrong.

Meeting Ms. Jones is the best thing that ever happened to Roger. She shows she cares, even though he is a total stranger. She has no motive for caring other than the fact that she is a good woman. Her genuine care changes Roger. He could have run away with her purse while she was heating the food, but by this point in the story, Ms. Jones has impacted his life in such a way until he wants her to trust him. He is forever changed after only a few moments with a woman who shows a sincere interest in him.

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Is there a conflict associated with the story "Thank You, M'am"?

The two majors conflicts in the story "Thank You, M'am" are between the main characters and society and Roger and himself.

Both Luella and Roger live in poverty; it isn't easy for them to get by even if they work hard to excel. She's walking home from work late at night alone and her bag breaks with only a little force. Roger has resorted to stealing to purchase shoes he wants. It's clear that they aren't valued members of society and are living on the edges and just trying to make it. Though, of course, Roger's intentions seem more selfish than Luella's; the reader isn't sure what she wants from life. She merely offers Roger kindness and understanding, since she's been through the wringer herself and done things she's not proud of.

Roger also struggles with himself. In the face of her kindness, he doesn't know how to react. It seems he hasn't been offered much of it in his life. When Luella shares her food and her money, he's overwhelmed. He wants to say something more than thank you, m'am but is unable to before she sends him on his way.

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Is there a conflict associated with the story "Thank You, M'am"?

"Thank You, Ma'am" is a piece of short fiction written by Langston Hughes. It tells the story of Roger and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones—who meet when Roger tries to steal her purse late at night. Roger wants the money to buy a pair of blue suede shoes.

Some examples of conflicts in literature include "man versus self," "man versus society," "man versus man," "man versus nature," and "man versus supernatural." In this story, we see the conflict of man versus society for both Roger and Luella. The effects of racism in society mean that both of the characters live in poverty and are not always able to have things they want or even need (such as blue suede shoes). Even Luella admits that she has done things she is not proud of, out of desperation:

I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son—neither tell God, if he didn't already know.

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