A Summary and Analysis of Langston Hughes’ ‘Thank You, Ma’am’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Thank You, Ma’am’ is a 1958 short story by the African-American poet, novelist, and short-story writer Langston Hughes (1901-67). In the story, a teenage boy attempts to steal a woman’s purse, but she catches him and takes him back to her home, showing him some kindness and attempting to teach him right from wrong.

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A Summary and Analysis of Langston Hughes’ ‘Theme for English B’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Theme for English B’ is a 1951 poem by Langston Hughes (1901-67), one of the leading figures in the Harlem Renaissance. In the poem, a young African-American man studying at a college in Harlem describes the piece of homework his white teacher gave his class, which involved going home and writing a ‘true’ page.

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A Short Analysis of Langston Hughes’ ‘Mother to Son’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Langston Hughes (1901-67) was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance in New York in the 1920s. Over the course of a varied career he was a novelist, playwright, social activist, and journalist, but it is for his poetry that Hughes is now best-remembered.

‘Mother to Son’ is one of Hughes’ best-known poems, and sees a mother addressing her son, telling him about how hard and challenging her life has been, and offering him some parental advice. You can read ‘Mother to Son’ here (it takes no longer than a minute to read); below, we offer an analysis of the poem’s meaning and symbolism.

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