Thank You Ma’am: Roger’s transformation

By Lauren, Class of 2022

Mrs. Jones kindness made Roger go from a thief to a respectful young man. At first, Rogers tries to deny trying to steal Mrs. Jones purse by saying, “I didn’t aim to.” Afterwards, Mrs. Jones said if I let you go will you run and he said yes. Roger’s words show that he i not responsible. Probably because he has no one at home to teach him right from wrong. However, this was only the beginning of a powerful change.

Now Roger was starting to change into a respectful and responsible young man because of Mrs. Jones’ mother-like hospitality. She welcomed him into her home and told him to “go to the sink” and he hesitated. The door was open; he was free to run. After that she went to change, one could run again, but instead he just went to the other side of the room so if she wanted to see him she could. Roger does this to gain her trust. Then, she feeds him a hearty meal. Now it is time to say good bye and Mrs. Jones gives him $10 for blue suede shoes he wants. Roger is so thankful and speechless because no one has ever done that. He wished he could say more than, “Thank you, ma’am.” All of Mrs. Jones actions display that Roger is now cared for and that he is now a respectful, responsible boy.

*** Teacher’s Note: Previously, scholars read the short story “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes. After analyzing portions of the plot and components of characterization, scholars were required to display understanding of how the main character Roger changed. This activity is being used as scaffolding towards eventually creating a full-character analysis.

MD College & Career Readiness Standards: RL.6.3, RL.6.5, W.6.3.b

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