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Thank You Ma’am | Questions and Answers, D.A.Q (Part – III)

Thank You Ma’am D.A.Q (Part – III)

Thank You Ma’am D.A.Q (Part – III)

"Thank You, Ma'am" is a short story written by Langston Hughes, an American poet, social activist, novelist, and playwright. It was first published in 1958 and has since become a popular piece in literature anthologies. The story focuses on an encounter between a young boy named Roger and a strong, kind-hearted woman named Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.

    Q. What had Mrs Jones guessed to be the real reason behind Roger’s action? 

    What was the real reason? What did Mrs. Jones do to show that Roger could fulfill his ways? What did she tell him then?

    Answer: Mrs Jones had guessed that hunger was the real reason behind Roger's action of trying to steal her purse.

    The real reason was Roger’s ways to buy a pair of blue suede shoes for himself.

    Mrs. Jones gave Roger $10 so that he could fulfill his wish.

    After handing Roger the money Mrs Jones asked him not to make the mistake of stealing hers or anybody else’s belongings because things earned by dishonest means failed to bring peace to anyone. Then she said it was time for her to take rest and addressing Roger as son wished that he would not get involved in any kind of misdeed thereafter.

    Q. “I wanted a pair of blue suede shoes.” 

    What reply did the speaker get and how did he react?

    Answer: When Roger told Mrs Jones that he tried to snatch her pocketbook to buy a pair of blue suede shoes, Mrs Jones remarked that instead of snatching her purse, he could have just asked her for the money.

    Roger obviously did not expect such a reply. It was an unusual experience for him. He never thought that his desire could get fulfilled so easily. The water dripping from his face, Roger looked at Mrs Jones in absolute surprise. There was a long pause, a very long pause. Having no idea what else to do, Roger dried his already dry face again. He was wondering what next was awaiting him. A quick thought of running away through the open door once came into his mind but he decided not to break Mrs Jones’ trust.

    Q. “I were young once”- who is the speaker?

    What detail about her youth does she confess to the listener? What lesson from her experience did she want to teach the listener?

    Answer: The speaker is Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones.

    Mrs. Jones confesses to Roger that in her youth she too desired for things which she could not afford to buy. She also reveals to the boy that even she has made the mistake of doing wrong things in her growing years. She further adds that she would neither tell him nor God if God had already not known what misdeeds she has committed.

    She wanted to teach Roger the lesson of taking the path of honesty in life. According to Mrs. Jones things earned by adopting unfair means takes away a person's mental peace.

    Q. “There was a long pause. A very long pause”

    – in what context was there a pause? What was the boy thinking then? What led to another long pause?

    Answer: When Mrs Jones came to know that Roger tried to snatch her pocketbook to buy a pair of blue suede shoes, she told the boy that she could have asked her for the money instead of trying to steal. The unexpected kindness of the lady surprised Roger so much that he stood speechless in her kitchenette not knowing what to do and wondering what next.

    The boy was thinking of running away from Mrs. Jones’ house through the open door, down the hall.

     Sitting on the daybed, Mrs. Jones confessed to Roger that in her youth she too had desired for things which were beyond her reach. Thisrevelation gave such a shock to Roger that he became silent. Perhaps, Roger guessed that Mrs. Jones had also been a part of wrongdoings in her past whereas Mrs Jones was busy remembering the days of her youth. This led to another long pause.

    Q. “Um-hum! You thought I was going to say but, didn’t you?”

    - Who was speaking with whom? Why did the speaker say the above lines? What else did the speaker say after these lines?

    Answer: Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones was speaking with Roger, who tried to steal her large purse.

    When Roger told Mrs. Jones that he attempted to snatch her pocketbook to buy a pair of blue suede shoes, the lady told him that he could have asked her for the money. Roger was a bit surprised at her response. A little letter Mrs Jones revealed to the boy that in her youth, she toodesired for things which were beyond her reach. Then both of them remained silent for a while. Thereafter, the speaker said the above lines to remove the listener’s confusion.

    Mrs. Jones thought that Roger might have guessed from her words that she too adopted unfair means to fulfil her desire in her young age. After a few moments of silence, Mrs. Jones confessed to Roger that she had done things to which she would neither disclosed to him not to God provided God was not aware of it already.

    Q. “And he not want to be mistrusted now.”

    - Who is referred to as ‘he' here? Whose trust did he want to win? Why did he want to be trusted and what did he not do to keep her trust intact?

    Or why did the boy in “Thank You Ma’am” not run away though he found the door open?

    Answer: Roger, the poor teenager who tried to steal Mrs. Jones’ purse is referred to as he here.

    Roger wanted to win the trust of Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones.

    Roger was afraid that he would be sent to prison when Mrs Jones caught him red-handed. But instead of handing Roger over to the police, Mrs Jones took him to her house. There she took good care of him and prepared supper for the boy who had none at home. Roger could feel the lady’s motherly love for him. Mrs. Jones left her purse on the daybed giving Roger enough time and opportunity to steal it and run away. The woman’s trust on him moved Roger. Hence, he did not want to be mistrusted by the kind lady.

     At first on being caught, Roger pleaded with Mrs. Jones to set him free and looked for an opportunity to escape from her clutch. After reaching Mrs. Jones’ house despite getting two chances to flee from there once with the purse and once without it, Roger choose not to. The love and care of the lady brought about a change in Roger. Instead of running away with the purse, Roger sat on the far side of the room, where he thought Mrs. Jones could easily see him out of the corner of the other eye, if she wished to. He wanted to put his trustworthiness.


    Read also:

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ Thank You Ma’am | D.A.Q. (Part – I)  

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ Thank You Ma’am | D.A.Q. (Part – II)  

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ Thank You Ma’am | D.A.Q. (Part – IV)  

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Eyes Have It | D.A.Q. (Part – 01)  

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Three Questions | D.A.Q. (Marks – 05) 

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ Strong Roots | D.A.Q. (Marks – 05)  

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ On Killing a Tree | D.A.Q. (Part – 01) 

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Poetry of Earth | D.A.Q. (Marks – 05) 

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day ( Sonnet 18 ) | D.A.Q. (Marks – 05) 

    ๐Ÿ‘‰ Asleep in the Valley | D.A.Q. (Marks – 05) 

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