Thank You Ma’am

Read “Thank You Ma’am,” by Langston Hughes.

Langston Hughes


Respond to the Story

  • The first sentence of the story suggests that the tone will be humorous. What other details in the story add to the humorous effect?
  • Despite the light tone, the story deals with a serious subject. Which details in the story tell you that the purpose of the story is more serious?
  • Do you think that meeting Mrs. Jones will turn out to be a turning point in Roger’s life? Explain.
  • What is the kindest thing that a stranger has ever done for you or someone you know?

Create a Thank-You Letter
Write a thank-you letter to Mrs. Jones using the point of view or voice of Roger after several years have passed. In the letter, you should review the events and the effect her kindness had on Roger. Tell her about what has happened since. Remember the course focus, “The Human Condition – In Search of Self.” Try to include some comments about how Mrs. Jones changed Roger’s life.

Use the following address information for your letter:
Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones lives in the city of Joplin, Missouri. She lives on the first floor of a rooming house, Unit 4, at 123 5th Street. Her United States postal code is 64802.

Roger Hughes now works in Columbia, Missouri in an office at 230 Jesse Hall. The United States postal code there is 65211.

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