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Thank You, Ma’am: Summary, textual solutions of BSEM Class 9 English Literature

thank you maam
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Get notes of the story Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes which is part of BSEM Class 9 English (Literature). However, the notes should only be treated for references and changes should be made according to the needs of the students.

Textual notes


A. Complete the following statements with information from the text

I. Mrs. Washington Jones said she would not turn the boy loose because ______

Answer: She feared he would run away.

II. Mrs. Washington Jones said to the boy that if he were her son she would teach _______________

Answer: him right from wrong.

III. When Roger asked the woman if she was going to take him to the jail she said that she would not take him ________________________

Answer: with his face dirty.

IV. Mrs. Washington Jones did not ask the boy anything about him because ______ _________________

Answer: it might embarrass him.

V. Before he was allowed to leave Roger wanted to say something more to the woman but only managed to say ________

Answer: “Thank you”.

B. Answer the following questions in a sentence each

I. What did the woman do after she picked up the boy by his shirt front?

Answer: She kicked him, then picked him up by his shirt front and shook him.

II. What did the woman want to do to the boy’s dirty face?

Answer: She expressed a desire to wash his face.

III. What did Mrs. Jones tell Roger he should have done to buy his shoes instead of trying to snatch her purse?

Answer: Mrs. Jones suggested that Roger could have simply asked her for the shoes.

IV. What should Roger do to make him look presentable?

Answer: Mrs. Jones advised Roger to wash his face and comb his hair.

V. “Do you need somebody to go to the store?” asked the boy. Why did the boy ask so?

Answer: The boy offered to go to the store, possibly to show his trustworthiness or helpfulness.

C. Answer the following questions briefly

I. How did the boy fall on the sidewalk?

Answer: The boy fell on the sidewalk when he tried to snatch Mrs. Jones’ purse, causing him to lose his balance and fall.

II. “If you think that contact is not going to last awhile you got another thing coming……..” Explain what Mrs. Jones meant by it?

Answer: Mrs. Jones meant that the boy’s interaction with her was going to have a lasting impact, and he couldn’t easily escape the situation or its consequences.

III. “Roger looked at the door-looked at the woman-looked at the door – and went to the sink”. Why did Roger not run away?

Answer: Roger did not run away because he was influenced by Mrs. Jones’ authority and possibly her kindness, compelling him to stay.

IV. Do you think Mrs. Jones was completely free from any wrongdoing? Quote the relevant line from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Mrs. Jones was not completely free from wrongdoing; she admits to having done things she wouldn’t tell the boy or even God.

V. “Eat some more son” she said. Comment on the significance of the line.

Answer: This line signifies Mrs. Jones’ nurturing and caring attitude towards Roger, treating him with kindness and motherly affection despite his initial wrongdoing.

D. Answer the following questions in about 80 words

I. Write how Roger end up in Mrs. Jones’ hall?

Answer: Roger found himself in Mrs. Jones’ hall following a failed purse-snatching attempt. Initially, he tried to steal her purse but stumbled, allowing Mrs. Jones to capture him. Rather than letting him go or calling the police, she chose a personal approach. She firmly took him to her home, where she looked after him. This experience was transformative for Roger, marking a significant departure from the typical punitive response to such actions.

II. Comment on Mrs. Jones’ treatment of Roger at her home.

Answer: Mrs. Jones’ treatment of Roger in her home was remarkably compassionate and nurturing. Instead of reacting with anger or seeking retribution for the attempted theft, she chose to care for him. She fed him, talked to him about life, and even gave him money for shoes. Her approach was a blend of discipline and kindness, aiming not just to reprimand, but to guide and positively influence Roger. This treatment was reflective of her understanding of youth and the importance of second chances.

III. “Well you didn’t have to snatch my pocketbook to get some suede shoes,” said Mrs. Jones. “You could have asked me.” Bring out the character of Mrs. Jones based on her remark.

Answer: Mrs. Jones’ remark to Roger reflects her extraordinary empathy and generosity. By suggesting that Roger could have simply asked for help rather than resorting to theft, she demonstrates a deep understanding of and compassion for his circumstances. Her willingness to help a stranger, especially one who tried to rob her, highlights her belief in kindness and redemption. This remark encapsulates her character as someone who sees beyond the act of wrongdoing and focuses on the potential for positive change and support.

Think and write

A. (I) Here is a list of names of qualities. Not all of them are applicable to Mrs. Jones. Find out which of them are applicable and which are not and enter them in the columns below:

Answer: Mrs. Jones demonstrates qualities like compassion, forgiveness, understanding, dignity, and generosity. She does not exhibit rudeness, a tendency to be easily-angry, selfishness, or pride. Her actions throughout the story reflect these characteristics.

(II) Which have stronger influence – Kindness or Punishment. Write a few lines.

Answer: Kindness often has a stronger and more lasting influence than punishment. In the story, Mrs. Jones’ kindness towards Roger, shown through her understanding and generosity, likely had a more profound impact on him than any punishment would have. Kindness can inspire positive change and foster a sense of worth and trust, which is more effective for long-term behavioral change.

(III) Now suppose a young boy has tried to pick your pocket. Write how will you react. Try to justify your answer.

Answer: If a young boy tried to pick my pocket, I would react with understanding rather than anger. Recognizing that such actions often stem from underlying issues like poverty or lack of guidance, I would talk to him about his actions and their consequences, and offer help if needed. This approach could help address the root cause of his behavior and guide him towards better choices.

(IV) Suppose you are Roger. What will be the effect of Mrs. Jones’ treatment on you? Write a few lines.

Answer: As Roger, Mrs. Jones’ treatment would have a profound and positive effect on me. Her unexpected kindness and understanding would teach me about empathy and the power of second chances. It would likely inspire me to reconsider my actions and make better choices in the future, understanding that there are people who care and are willing to help, even in unexpected situations.

B. (I) What do you think is responsible for Roger’s wrongdoing? Are circumstances in any way responsible for his trying to snatch Mrs. Jones’ purse? Discuss it in your group and enumerate them. The first one is done for you.

  • I. No one at home to take care of him.
  • II. Lack of guidance or positive role models in his life, leading to poor decision-making.
  • III. Possible socioeconomic difficulties, such as poverty or need, that might have driven him to desperation.

(II) List the various things that Mrs. Jones did to Roger until his release. Work out the points in your group.

Answer: Mrs. Jones first caught Roger and prevented his escape. She then led him to her home, maintaining a firm yet caring demeanour. At her home, she cooked for Roger, providing him with a meal. She engaged in a heartfelt conversation, offering life advice and showing genuine interest in his wellbeing. Mrs. Jones also gave Roger money to buy the shoes he wanted, displaying generosity. Finally, she released him, imparting a sense of trust and responsibility.

(III) Discuss in your group what might have been the effect of Mrs. Jones’ kindness on Roger. Discuss it and write a few sentences.

Answer: The kindness shown by Mrs. Jones could have a transformative effect on Roger. It provided a stark contrast to his initial intention of theft, potentially reshaping his outlook on trust and human kindness. This experience might serve as a pivotal moment in his life, instilling values of empathy, honesty, and gratitude. It could also inspire Roger to change his behavior, understanding the impact of kindness and the potential for positive interactions even in unexpected circumstances.

(IV) Suppose Mrs. Jones had handed over the boy to the police. What would be the effect? Discuss and write it.

Answer: If Mrs. Jones had handed Roger over to the police, it could have had a significantly negative impact on him. Such an encounter with law enforcement at a young age might have led to a criminal record, potentially hindering his future opportunities. It could also reinforce feelings of distrust and resentment towards authority figures. This experience might have pushed him further into delinquent behaviour, lacking the personal guidance and understanding that Mrs. Jones provided. The absence of her compassionate approach could have a lasting negative impact on his perception of society and authority.


I. Do not _____ at my cloth son.

Answer: tug

II. The thief _____ the man’s bag.

Answer: snatched

III. The culprit was _____ when he saw the policeman.

Answer: rattled

IV. She is so _____ that she finds it difficult to stand up.

Answer: frail

V. Finally the father could make a ____ with his lost son.

Answer: contact

VI. Do not ____ to call me again.

Answer: bother

VII. You look so dirty you are hardly _____.

Answer: presentable

VIII. Let us not _____ them by asking unpleasant questions.

Answer: embarrass

IX. Nothing grows in the desert. It is a ____ place.

Answer: barren

Writing Practice

Here is a letter written by Roger to Mrs. Jones a few days after the incident described in the story. Here, he describes how he has been effected by her treatment. There are, however, many gaps in the letter. Fill in the blanks with suitable words from the list given below to make the letter meaningful.

mother, pray, understanding, completely, angry, treated, trying, determined, wrong


Dear ma’m,

Thank you madam for the way you had treated me the other day. It was the first time that I was treated with love and understanding by anyone. I wish I had a mother like you.

I am completely changed. After meeting you, I feel if I do anything wrong like I did before God will be angry with me.

I am trying to find a job, any job, maybe in a hotel or a shop. But I am determined I will never do bad things.

Please pray for me for me. Thank you.Yours,

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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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