Every literary work, work of art, or written work always have effects for the readers. The effects can be in many aspects like in philosophical aspects and in point of view aspect of the reader. Thank You, Ma’am as a short story from Langston Hughes also has effects and influences for the reader. In this paper I would like to write the analysis of Thank You, Ma’am from my point view as the reader.

This short story from Langston Hughes really gives us a flashback about my life. Thank You, Ma’am explains and imagines the scenery where Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones face a evil incident and meet bad boy (Roger) but the escape that Mrs. Jones did was really anti-mainstream, not bring Roger to the police but bring him home and take care with affection like mother. It really pushed me to open my eye and my heart wider  about what I believe about non-law judgement and what I see in the reality where some people still believe that bad boy and his wickedness should be punished by violance or brought to the police but in this story Langston Hughes try to break that mind by bringing the reader to another scene where Mrs. Jones stayed and has robbery trial.

Many parts in this story are also in-line with my opinions in general and about the way to punish bad boy without bring him to the police and faces law. Langston Hughes in Thank You, Ma’am show how Mrs. Jones did another better way to give something that make Roger be aware about what he did, although firstly she said that she will bring Roger to the police but actually it just to give pressure to Roger to follow what she said. In her home, she also gave Roger good care and give advice too, no matter what Roger had done to her. Another parts that I agree in this story is about the help that Mrs. Jones gave to Roger to buy shoes. I agree with those parts because I think and I believe that wickedness does not need to be solved with bringing to police moreover the actor is still under 17 years (this story told us that Roger was still fourteen or fifteen), I believe that not all wickedness of under 17 boys comes from wicked aim or evil aim, sometimes wickedness comes because even good aim or just to try and know how is the feel after doing it like what Roger did. My thoughts happen in that story where there was a robbery trial but the victim did not bring the murder to the police or bit and hurt the murder, even Mrs. Jones take care Roger and giving help Roger to buy shoes. I also believe that not all wickedness, especially simple wickednesses in under 17 boys should be solved by law because sometimes affection can do it better than what law does especially in under 17 boys and Mrs. Jones did it in that story.

From this story I found not only similarities between the author’s opinions and my opinions but also I can learn many things about the world and about the life. This text is like teaching us to be sure in what my deepest heart said someone’s wickedness and everything about it, believe that everyone has good side inside himself because I am sure if Mrs. Jones did not believe about it she would not bring Roger go home and give him advice and money to buy shoes. Here I also learn if I want to do something good should not be followed by negative thinking, it is like what Mrs. Jones did in the story, Mrs. Jones said to Roger to follow her to go to her house without she thought negatively, she did it without assuming that Roger will do something bad again in her house or try to rob her again. All the similarities between my opinions, the story’s opinions and their examples in text that imagined with what Mrs. Jones did can strengthen my opinions and what I believe because I can found new person who has opinion like me and also new examples and new proofs, although it is just in story but I believe Langston Hughes wrote it based on the reality of the society.

I was really enjoying when I Read Thank You, Ma’am because here I can find like new friend for us who has same ideas and same opinions about the way to give punishment. This story from Langston Hughes is very well to address and to express important message about punishing someone that imagined with Mrs. Jones and Roger. This message is not only important for myself but also I think it will be very important for all people in the world because I am sure this story can open the people eyes and can break an assumption of few people that still think violence can solve anything. Not only for people in the world, I think this story can also give lessons for most people in Indonesia because most people in Indonesia still think that anything that break the law should solved by law no matter what it is, no matter that law cannot solve it well and properly because for example the reason was because not get enough affection or because the actor was still under 17. Generally, I think this text try to tell the reader that affection can solve problem because wickedness and it should not always be solved by law.

Generally, I enjoy this text as a work of art and not as entertainment. The reason why I enjoy this story as a work of art was because this story not only gave entertainment to the reader but also gave many lessons to the reader, lesson about how to punish someone, lesson about doing something without negative thinking like what Mrs. Jones did when she brought Roger come home with her, and many more lessons. Another consideration when I say that this story is a work of art was because I think there were philosophical believe contains in the story, philosophical believe that made Langston Hughes imagined Mrs. Jones who did not say “Hey boy, you are robber!” or “Hey kid, you are evil and should send to jail!” when there was a bad boy try to rob her pocket. Other examples that I am sure that contain philosophical believe was when Mrs. Jones asked the boy to wash his face and when Mrs. Jones said “Behave yourself, boy” to Roger when he leave Mrs. Jones’ door, I am sure that Mrs. Jones has different philosophical thought than other people because how come she said like that to the boy, bad boy who tried to rob her pocket? I am also sure that this text also tried to seduce the reader and wish the reader would rethink the way to punish after reading the story.

Overall I have very good reaction for this text because this text has good story with many good lessons inside, lessons that can make the readers rethink their way to punish and their way to see bad boy in society. If there will be another story like Thank You, Ma’am I will try to read that story because I need story like that to strengthen my mind and also to wider my knowledge about this life that I cannot get in the school. I also recommend this story to the people outside there, especially for the people who still think that violence is able to solve anything. For Indonesian people I also recommend this book because in Indonesia there are many examples where simple problems in society was solved by violence, by reading this story I wish Indonesian people could open the eyes and be aware that violence cannot solve any problem.

Langston Hudges with Thank You, Ma’am really gives us many lessons. Lessons about this life, lessons about how to be better person, and lessons about non-law punishment. Here I not only get entertainment but also new text that can teach us many things. Without using specific literary theories and just using my feeling as the reader, there are many lessons that can I get as a reader.


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