Compare & Contrast Thank You Maam
“Thank You Ma’am” and “Marigolds” are two fictional short stories that focus on two young teens. “Thank You Ma’am” was written by Langston Hughes. He was born February 1, 1902 In Joplin, Missouri and was an African-American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist. “Marigolds” was written by Eugenia W. Collier. She was born in 1928 in the city of Baltimore and was an African-American writer and critic. There are many similarities and differences between “Thank You Ma’am” and “Marigolds. ” The settings in both stories are similar, but have some differences. Thank You Ma’am” is set in Harlem, New York at 11 o’ clock at night, while “Marigolds” is set in Maryland in 1930 during The Great Depression. Roger, from “Thank You Ma’am,” says at one point in the story that he has no one to look after him at home, so you know that all of the characters must be dealing with something similar to The Great Depression. Both are also set in the East Coast, but one is set in a rural location while the other in an urban location. The main characters, Roger and Lizabeth, also have similarities and differences. They both are young and naive and both are bothering an older woman.
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Roger tries to steal Mrs. Luella Bates purse and Lizabeth throws rocks at Miss Lottie’s marigolds. The old women are both very different from each other. Mrs. Luella Bates is strong and sassy while Miss Lottie is broken and quiet. The differences between the main characters are the gender and the lesson they learn. There are three types of conflicts in a story; man vs. self, and vs. man and man vs. society. Both stories have some similar conflicts, and some different. For the man vs. self conflict, Roger has to decide whether he can trust Mrs.
Luella Bates and Lizabeth have to deal with growing out of her innocence and into maturity. For man vs. man, Mrs. Luella Bates and Miss Lottie both have a conflict with Roger and Lizabeth bothering them. And lastly for man vs. society, Mrs. Luella Bates and Miss Lottie both have a problem with the main characters naivety. The plots of both stories are more different than similar. The plot of “Thank You Ma’am” is simple. The main protagonist, Roger, tries to steal an old woman’s purse, but doesn’t get away with it. The old woman, or Mrs. Luella Bates, then takes him to her home to wash up and eat.
Roger ends up leaving with the ten dollars he originally tried to steal for suede shoes. The plot of “Marigolds” is also simple. Lizabeth, her brother and some neighborhood friends go out to pick on Miss Lottie on a boring afternoon. They throw rocks at her marigolds and chant rude things to her. Lizabeth goes home ashamed and ends up apologizing to Miss Lottie for what she’s done. Both stories have a simple plot, but have different events. Roger and Lizabeth both go through different things, therefore learning different things at the conclusion of their stories.
The theme of “Thank You Ma’am” is to trust and you will be trusted, while the theme of “Marigolds” is that there is always a time in one’s life where one has lost innocence and matured. Roger learns to trust and Lizabeth loses her innocence, although both of them mature compared to the beginning of their stories. There are many similarities and differences between “Thank You Ma’am” and “Marigolds,” whether in the plot, setting, characters, theme, or conflict. I think the main similarity were the characters. They both were youthful and naive, but mature in the end.