1)What had Mrs Jones guessed to be the real reason behind Roger’s action? What was the real reason? What did Mrs Jones do so that Roger could fulfil his wish? What did she tell him then? [1+1+1+3 = 6] [H.S. = 2020]
Ans. Mrs Jones had guessed that Roger was very hungry. And out of hungriness, he snatched her purse.
The real reason was that he wanted to buy a pair of blue suede shoes.
Mrs Jones gave Roger ten dollars to buy the suede shoes so that he could fulfil his wish.
Mrs Jones advised Roger not to snatch anyone’s pocketbook because shoes got by the devilish way would burn his feet. She means to say that he would never be happy by resorting to such an immoral way. Finally, before departure, she advised him to behave properly with others and honest life.
2) “I would teach you right from wrong.”- who said this, to whom and when? How did the speaker transform the person spoken to her? [1+1+1+3 =6] [H.S. = 2016]
Ans. Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones said to Roger in Langston Hughes’s short story ‘Thank You Ma’am’.
Mrs Bates said this when she was dragging the boy on the street after he was caught red-handed for snatching her purse.
Mrs Jones brought Roger home. She behaved normally with Roger and gave him a homely atmosphere. She asked him to wash his face and dry it with a clean towel. She shared his personal experience. When she was young, she wanted many things but she could not get them. Yet she did not snatch people’s pocketbooks. Like a moral teacher, she tried to transfer the boy. She fed the boy with motherly care. At last, he gave the boy ten dollars for the shoes and advised that shoes got by the devilish way would burn his feet. In this way, he tried to transform Roger.
3) “You ought to be my son. I would teach you right from wrong.” – Who speaks (and) to whom? Did the speaker manage to teach what he/she claimed to teach? Give reason for your answer. [2+4 = 6] [H.S. = 2017]
Ans. See the answer to Question No. 2.
4) “You gonna take me to jail?” – Who asked this question and to whom? When did the speaker ask this question? What reply did the speaker get? [2+3+1 = 6] [H.S. = 2019]
Ans. Roger, a young boy of fourteen or fifteen asked this question to Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones in the prose ‘Thank You Ma’am’.
Mrs Jones caught Roger red-handed when he tried to snatch her purse. She firmly gripped his shirt front and dragged him all the way to her house. When they entered the room and Mrs Jones sent him to wash his face, Roger asked this question bending over the sink.
Mrs Jones replied that she would take him nowhere with that face.
5) “Do you need somebody to get to the store?” – Who is the speaker? To whom did the speaker say this? Why did the speaker want to go to the store? What did they have in supper? [1+1+1+3 = 6] [H.S. = 2018]
Ans. Roger, a boy of fourteen or fifteen who tried to snatch the purse of Mrs Jones is the speaker.
Roger said to Luella Bates Washington Jones.
The speaker wanted to go to the store to get some milk or something.
They had lima beans, ham and cocoa for dinner. Then she cut him half of her ten-cent cake.
6) “Eat some more, son.” – Who is the speaker? What is offered by the speaker to the listener? What picture of the speaker’s character is revealed in this line?
Ans. Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones is the speaker.
The speaker Mrs Jones offered Roger half of her ten-cent cake.
When Mrs Jones came to know that Roger had no one to take care of, she became sympathetic towards Roger. She felt Roger was hungry. She prepares dinner with lima beans, ham and cocoa. Then she offered him half of her ten-cent cake and uttered the quoted line. The line reveals that she was a woman with a tender heart which is full of motherly feelings and affection.