Character Analysis:

Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones

Mrs. Jones in the story was a woman who was going by her day like every other person. She was minding her business until a little boy decided to snatch her purse. Surprisingly, th e little boy was able to get away with the purse because he tripped and was caught by Mrs. Jones. Instead of sending him to the police because he tried to steal her purse, Luella decided to question the little boy on her own. She sent him to her house. An action that many people will not do because there is a possibility that the thief will not only come by and steal in her house, but he might bring along a whole crew. Nevertheless, Luella observed that the boy was dirty and needed his face to be washed so upon arrival at her home, she asked the little boy to wash his face. As he was washing his face, she made him dinner and began a conversation with him. She told him what she did for a living and went ahead to ask the little boy why he wanted to steal her purse. Apparently, he was from a home where no one cared about him and he needed a pair of suede shoes so that prompted him to steal. After spending some time together, Mrs. Bates gave the little boy 10 dollars and asked him never to steal again but instead, ask whenever he needed something.

Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is a unique character in the story. She is found doing the opposite of what most people will expect her to. For example, as the little boy still her purse and does not get away with it, most people will expect that after she caught him, she will turn him in to the authorities. Instead she takes him home and actually treats him very nicely. Also, she does not punish him for what he did but rather asked him why he did what he did.  She treated the little boy like her son. In the end, she gave him the money he needed to purchase the shoes that he always wanted and allowed him to go free.

How does this story relate to contemporary times?

          In terms of our society today, this story reminds me of why perople commit crimes. In Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes, the poor little boy stole because he didnt have any money to buy a pair of shoes that he really wanted. In our world today, many youngsters and even adults find it hard to have what they want, so they find crime to be their only option. They steal, if that is the only option for them to get what they want. They kill, if that is the only option to get what they want. Without seeking other options such as working hard to get what they want, these people want the easy way out.

          When they get caught, they face the authorities, that is, they are sent to jail or have to go to court to defend themselves. Most often, depending on the crime, these criminals are punished according to their deeds. Very seldomly do they go free, like the little boy in the story. As they are facing the punishment, some learn their lessons and others do not. Those who do, look back and are thankful for what they did, like the liitle boy was grateful to Mrs. Bates.