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Thank You, Ma’am: Summary, textual solutions of NBSE Class 11 English

thank you maam
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Get notes of the story Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes which is part of NBSE Class 11 English. However, the notes should only be treated for references and changes should be made according to the needs of the students.

A. Answer these questions in 30-40 words 

1. What did the boy try to snatch? 

Answer: The boy tried to snatch a large woman’s purse that had everything in it except for a hammer and nails. It had a long strap, which she carried slung across her shoulder. 

2. Why was he not successful in his attempt? 

Answer: He was not successful in his attempt because the weight of the purse threw him off balance, and he fell on his back on the sidewalk with his legs flying up. 

3. What did the woman do in response? 

Answer: The woman simply turned around and kicked him right-square in his blue jeaned sitter. Then she reached down, picked up the boy by his shirt front, and shook him until his teeth rattled. 

4. Why did the boy not run away when the woman finally let go of his neck? 

Answer: The boy did not run away when the woman finally let go of his neck because he understood that the lady trusted him now, and he didn’t want to be mistrusted. Moreover, he was moved by the kindness and caring nature of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. 

5. Why was the boy trying to steal? 

Answer: The boy was trying to steal because he wanted  to buy a pair of blue suede shoes. 

6. Why did the woman stop watching the boy once she was inside the room? 

Answer: The woman stopped watching the boy once she was inside the room because she trusted the boy, as he had been apologetic and remorseful for his actions, and she believed his honesty. 

7. What did the woman give the boy to eat? What does this tell you about her financial situation? 

Answer: The woman gave the boy some lima-beans, ham, cocoa, and half of her ten-cent cake to eat. 

This tells us that the woman was not financially well-off  as the food that she cooked for her and the boy was not excessively elaborated. Moreover, she worked late at night in a hotel-beauty shop to earn her living. 

8. Do you think the boy was worse off than the woman? Support your answer with two examples from the story. 

Answer: Yes, the boy was worse off than the woman.  

Firstly, the boy tried to snatch the woman’s purse in order to get money for a pair of blue suede shoes.  Secondly, he was on the street late at night, as there was nobody at his house to take care of him. 

9. Did the boy ever see the woman again? Do you think she still impacted his life? 

Answer: The boy never saw the woman again after he  left her house. 

The lady’s acts of generosity and compassion left a deep impact on the boy, and perhaps he would never indulge in stealing again. He learned an important lesson about kindness, compassion, love, trust, and forgiveness from the lady, which he might put into practice to develop a better life for him. 

10. Is the story always serious? Pick out two places where the tone of the writer is humorous

Answer: This story is not always serious in its tone. The author uses examples of humour, like the one in the opening sentence of the story, “She was a large woman with a large purse that had everything in it but a hammer and nails.” In addition, humour comes from much of Mrs. Jones dialogue, particularly when she responds to Roger’s question about being taken to jail.  

B. Think and answer in 100-150 words 

1. What message does the story have for the reader?

Answer: Thank you, M’am by Langston Hughes conveys a simple message of love, kindness, trust, and forgiveness. The message is illustrated by Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, whose ability to show kindness, love, and forgiveness to Roger and her desire to treat him with dignity and to prove him trustworthy. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is a woman who feels a certain social responsibility towards others. This is apparent in her treatment of Roger. 

The easiest thing for Mrs. Jones to do would be to take Roger to the police station after he tries to steal her  pocketbook. However, she is aware of his dirty face, and his appearance leads her to presume that he needs more than any form of punishment. Her self-awareness  indicates that she knows her action could have a direct effect on Roger, and so, instead of doing what is most convenient, she shows compassion for Roger and gives him the benefit of doubt, believing that his actions were not malicious and that he can learn to be a better person from this experience.  

The reader can also learn to be a better person by showing the same level of forgiveness and understanding to those who may not seem deserving.  Mrs. Jones teaches the readers not to judge others, and her action reveals the value of a second chance. 

2. Do you think Roger expected the lady to behave as she did? Give examples to support your answer. 

Answer: The lady did not behave as Roger expected her to because she seemed very annoyed when her purse was snatched by the boy. She simply kicked the boy in his blue jeaned-sitter, and then she picked him up and shook him until his teeth rattled. She also dragged him by his neck and gave him a good scolding for his behaviour. Her manners and words towards the boy were very harsh at the beginning of the story. Roger was scared that the lady would hand him over to the police. However, she took the boy home, and there we see her true nature. She treated the boy with respect and showed kindness and understanding towards his  behaviour.  

She even went to the extent of feeding him, helping him to clean himself, offering him ten dollars to buy a pair of  blue suede shoes, and advising him not to repeat his  behaviour in the future. So, it is possible that the boy expected the worst from the lady, as in punishing him or handing him over to the police. But in the end, he was profoundly touched by her nature towards him. 

3. What do you think may have happened if the boy had tried to run away? 

Answer: If the boy had tried to run away, it would have been a very different situation for Roger. As a 15 years  old boy, Roger may have been held with adults and possibly with a criminal who might have taken advantage of his naivety or even hurt him and may have had a bad influence on him by being a poor role model and teaching him even worse things than petty theft. 

Also, he might have gotten himself in the hands of some policemen, who would have sent him to prison for his  unlawful act. He would not have recognised the potential for good that would guide him towards a better future. He would not have understood the value of trust and kindness if he had not come in contact with Mrs. Jones. He would not have realised his mistake from his action and not even tried to rectify it. Rather, he would have continued with the same and ended up ruining his life without any values. 

4. Why do you think the older woman treated the boy as she did? Do you think she ever intended to take him to jail? 

Answer: Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones was angry at first with the boy, but as she learned more about the boy, she felt sorry for him. When Roger confessed the reason behind the theft, she recalled her own childhood. She was once a young child like him, who wanted things she could not get, and now she could understand and relate to Roger’s situation. She felt sorry for him and treated him with kindness and understanding.  

She displayed a trusting nature, and Roger decided to respond to her in a positive way, thereby leaving a great impact on him. Mrs. Jones did not criticise or punish him for trying to steal but showed love and understanding. Her generosity extended beyond sharing a meal, and in the most surprising act, she gave him a ten-dollar bill to buy blue suede shoes. She gave him the happiness of getting what he wanted, as she understood how it felt. Thus, the older woman treated the boy with kindness and understanding. 

No, I don’t think she ever intended to hand him over to the police, but rather she taught him a lesson that he would remember forever.

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2 thoughts on “Thank You, Ma’am: ISC, NBSE, BSEM English solutions”

  1. hiii can you guys add some more details questions made by you guys which cover important topics it will be very helpfull for the students

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