Second Chance

Topics: Love, Punishment, Want Pages: 2 (818 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Second Chance
Everyone makes mistakes, but everyone has the second chance to change in their lives. Langston Hughes has written many enlightening stories to tell us positive attitude and lifestyles. In Hughes' short story, "Thank You, Ma'am ", it talks about a boy named Roger, who attempts to steal Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones's purse but fails. He fears that he can be sent to jail after he gets caught by Mrs. Jones. Instead of ending in jail, he learned a precious lesson from his mistake. This short story illustrates that love and trust can transform a person's life while punishment can only result in fear.

Punishing someone due to a mistake cannot forever teach the person a lesson, but rather cause the person fear. Roger is fearful when Mrs. Jones grabs him, and he asks "You gonna take me to jail?" He knows that there is no other way out, but to go to jail. Although he knows he must be going to jail, it does not necessarily mean that he learns from his mistakes. Stealing is still rooted in his mind. It is critical when Mrs. Jones decides to use other way to teach him a valuable lesson. Most people believe that punishing him is the better way to stop him from stealing, but Mrs. Jones sees Roger's situation in a different perspective. She knows that fear of being in jail does not prevent Roger from stealing next time.

Love changes lives. People who are loved tend to correct their misbehavior than people who are punished. Mrs. Jones understands Roger’s situation that he is not being taking care of. Mrs. Jones loves Roger unconditionally because she wants to help him, and she tells Roger that "I would teach you right from wrong." This act of love not only makes Roger feel sorry for his mistake, but also makes him feel that he is loved. Mrs. Jones takes Roger home to wash him up and said “Let the water run until it gets warm”, she wants to Roger to take his time and feel safe in the environment. Moreover, she wants to bring Roger back to the...
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