Thank You, Ma`am - Greer Middle College || Building the Future

Personification, Symbolism, Allusion
Definition: giving human traits (qualities, feelings,
action, or characteristics) to non-living objects
(things, colors, qualities, or ideas).
Personification Examples
“The Most Dangerous Game”
 “The hounds cried out with excitement as they
caught the scent of Rainsford as he ran through the
 “Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and
“The Cask of Amontillado”
 “My heart grew sick…”
Definition: A symbol is a person, a place, an activity,
or an object that stands for something beyond itself.
Symbolism Examples
The necklace in “The Necklace” can represent
The old black box in “The Lottery” can represent
The coat of arms in “The Cask of Amontillado” can
represent _________________________________.
The ___________ in “Thank You, Ma’am” can
represent _________________________________.
Symbolism Examples
The necklace Mathilde’s desire to be someone she is not (since it is
fake and she “fakes” being rich).
The old black  the tradition at the core of the lottery (it is old and
battered) that the townspeople don’t want to stop following.
The coat of arms Montresor as the golden foot (of supposed
justice) crushing Fortunato, the serpent/attacker hiding in the grass.
“Thank You, Ma’am”
 The purse  the life that Roger desires/ Mrs. Luella Bates Washington
Jones has
 The blue suede shoes Roger’s desire to fit in/ have status
 $10 Mrs. LBWJ’s generosity and kindness
 Act of washing face Roger regaining youthful innocence/ purity after
trying to steal the purse…also, Mrs. LBWJ’s maternal love and care.
Definition: an implied reference in a literary work
to a person, place, or thing in history or another
work of literature
Allusions help to illustrate a point
Allusion Examples
“The Most Dangerous Game”
Madame Butterfly– Then he sat down, took a drink of
brandy from a silver flask, lit a cigarette, and hummed a bit
from Madame Butterfly.”
Marcus Aurelius– “In his library he read, to soothe himself,
from the works of Marcus Aurelius.”
Aesop Fable― “I have played the fox, now I must play the
cat of the fable.”
“Thank You, Ma’am”
Elvis Presley’s “Blue Suede Shoes” –"I wanted a pair of blue
suede shoes," said the boy.
“Thank You, Ma’am” Discussion
With a partner, discuss and write down your responses
to the following questions (story pp 137-140).
1. What two adjectives can you think of to describe Mrs.
Jones? For each adjective, find at least one quote.
Example: Strong “The large woman simply turned around and kicked
him right square in his blue-jeaned sitter.” THIS IS ONE ADJECTIVE/QUOTE
2. Analyze how Roger’s view of Mrs. Jones changed from
the beginning to the end of the story. Include quotations to
show how he used to be, and how he is at the end.
Discussion Continued
What is a possible theme of
“Thank You, Ma’am”? How does
Hughes develop the theme?
Consider characterization, plot
details, and dialogue.

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