Character Analysis of Roger in "Thank You Ma'am" by Langston Hughes

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About this sample

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Words: 580 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2018

Words: 580|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2018

Essay score:
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Table of contents

  1. Hook Examples for "Thank You, Ma'am" Essay
  2. "Thank You, Ma'am" Essay Example
  3. References

Hook Examples for "Thank You, Ma'am" Essay

  • An Intriguing Quote: In the bustling streets of 1950s Harlem, Langston Hughes spins a tale that reminds us: "Kindness and trust are not luxuries, but necessities of the soul."
  • A Vivid Scene: Imagine the grimy streets of Harlem in the midst of rapid population growth. On one of those corners, a young boy named Roger attempts to snatch a purse, setting in motion a story of transformation and redemption.
  • A Thought-Provoking Question: Have you ever wondered how a single act of kindness can change the course of someone's life? Langston Hughes' 'Thank You, Ma'am' explores this question through the character of Roger, a boy who learns a powerful lesson in an unexpected way.
  • A Relatable Observation: Many of us have faced moments of desperation where we contemplated taking a wrong path due to our circumstances. Roger's story in 'Thank You, Ma'am' mirrors the choices we make when life corners us into a tight spot.
  • A Universal Theme: In a world where respect and empathy often seem scarce, Langston Hughes' 'Thank You, Ma'am' offers a timeless message about the transformative power of compassion. Join us as we delve into Roger's journey from a misguided youth to a young man who learns the value of respect and honesty.

"Thank You, Ma'am" Essay Example

Introduction: Langston Hughes’ book written in 1958, ‘’Thank you ma’am’’ is set in Harlem New York during a time that New York experienced rapid population growth. It explores the effects of kindness and trust. Background: The story is about a boy named Roger. In the beginning of the story Roger steals from a woman named Mrs. Jones and attempts to steal her purse. Roger fails to do so, so the woman takes him to her house and teaches him a very valuable lesson “Do not steal”. Thesis statement: I really understood the message Langston Hughes puts into this story and I think Roger does too. In the end, Roger basically starts out as a cold-hearted thief but works his way out and learns how to respect others and not to steal. Roger changes in to a different person in the end of the story.

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Topic sentence: I would think of Roger as a poor child and he had little money because in the story it states that he doesn’t have anyone at his house. Also the whole reason why Roger steals from Mrs. Jones is because he does not have enough money to buy his “Blue Suede Shoes” so he had to steal. Evidence & citing: Another example would be the description of his clothes and how his face and hair was all messy and dirty. The story states that Mrs. Jones had to tell Roger to wash his face and comb his hair to be presentable. In conclusion, Roger had very little money and because of that he had to steal.

Topic sentence: I would also describe Roger as a respectful person towards the end of the story because when he was dragged to Mrs. Jones’s house you could already tell that he was going through a change. Evidence & citing: When he was there, he offered Mrs. Jones to buy some groceries from the store. Also, he had several chances to ditch her but he chose not to it was almost like he wanted to stay there. Whenever Mrs. Jones told a story, Roger listened and actually learned out of her stories. Roger actually learned respect from Mrs. Jones when he went to her house.

Topic sentence: The last thing I would describe Roger is unthoughtful and he does not think before he does his actions. For example, when he tries to steal from Mrs. Jones, he doesn't think about the outcomes of this action which supports that he is very unthoughtful. When he fails to steal the purse, he just loses his balance and falls. Evidence & citing: But Mrs. Jones teaches him to be more thoughtful and work for your own money instead of stealing and she also teaches him to be more respectful and thoughtful.

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Conclusion paragraph: In conclusion, he basically learns the importance of respect and not to steal. I think all of the experiences in the story that happened to him will change his life and hopefully will make him more successful in the future. Even I taught a little something from the story, to work for the good things in life instead of stealing someone else's hard-earned money like Roger did. So in the end, Roger becomes a better person all because of that one time when he stole Mrs. Jones’s purse. He learned to be respectful and not to steal.


  1. Benonguil, J. A. M. (2022). Stylistic Analysis of the Short Story “Thank You, Ma'am” by Langston Hughes. Canadian Journal of Language and Literature Studies, 2(6), 45-52. (
  2. Anwar, M. J., Sattar, B., & Anwar, M. N. Art of Characterization in “Thank You, Ma'am” by Langston Hughes. (

Introduction close-button

Should follow an “upside down” triangle format, meaning, the writer should start off broad and introduce the text and author or topic being discussed, and then get more specific to the thesis statement.

Background close-button

Provides a foundational overview, outlining the historical context and introducing key information that will be further explored in the essay, setting the stage for the argument to follow.

Thesis statement close-button

Cornerstone of the essay, presenting the central argument that will be elaborated upon and supported with evidence and analysis throughout the rest of the paper.

Topic sentence close-button

The topic sentence serves as the main point or focus of a paragraph in an essay, summarizing the key idea that will be discussed in that paragraph.

Evidence & citing close-button

The body of each paragraph builds an argument in support of the topic sentence, citing information from sources as evidence.

Conclusion paragraph close-button

Should follow a right side up triangle format, meaning, specifics should be mentioned first such as restating the thesis, and then get more broad about the topic at hand. Lastly, leave the reader with something to think about and ponder once they are done reading.

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Expert Review
Although the introduction is strong there are still some improvements that can be made. For example, the writer has not constructed a hook sentence at the start of the first paragraph. The hook sentence must be written such that it generally alludes to the thesis statement. The writer has also not introduced the text. The hook statement should be followed by a brief introduction in two to three sentences. The thesis statement needs to be expressed more concisely in a singular sentence. The evidence presented is not sufficient to support the arguments of the thesis statement. The writer needs to add more examples and direct quotations from the text. Word choice is appropriate and the writer’s expression is clear. There are, however, several problems in sentence construction throughout the essay. These need to be corrected to improve readability. Moreover, organization needs to be improved. This can be done by the addition of subheadings and by making sure that each paragraph deals with only one point.

Cite this Essay

Character Analysis of Roger in “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes. (2023, February 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from
“Character Analysis of Roger in “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes.” GradesFixer, 28 Feb. 2023,
Character Analysis of Roger in “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2023].
Character Analysis of Roger in “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Feb 28 [cited 2023 Nov 29]. Available from:
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