"You Don't Always Get What You Want"


Ever had an argument with your mother or stole? Roger in “Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes stole and Yollie in “Mother and Daughter” by Gary Soto had an argument with her mother. Thank You, M’am and Mother and Daughter share a similar theme. The theme statement for both short stories is “You don’t always get what you want.” In Mother and Daughter Yollie wanted a new dress for the dance. Her mother, Mrs. Moreno couldn’t afford it so she dyed an old dress black. In Thank You M’am Roger wanted a pair of blue swede shoes. To get the blue swede shoes Roger decides to steal. Both characters have the same problem but they use a different strategy to get to a solution.

Have you ever wanted a pair of sneakers so badly that you decide to rob? Roger in Thank You M’am wanted a pair of blue swede shoes that he tried to rob Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones’s money in her pocketbook. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones tugs the string on her pocketbook and Roger feel backwards with the pocketbook. Mrs. Jones said, “Pick up my pocketbook, boy” to Roger and he did so. Instead of calling the police or taking Roger to jail Mrs. Jones took him to her home. She told Roger to wash up and she also fed him. After supper Mrs. Jones gave Roger ten dollars to buy his blue swede shoes. Mrs. Jones gave Roger the money because she once wanted something she couldn’t get and wish someone would have given her money to buy it. In the end Roger did get money to buy his blue swede shoes.

Did you ever dye a dress black for a dance? Yollie in Mother and Daughter wants a new dress for the dance. Mrs. Moreno, Yollie’s mother couldn’t afford it. Mrs. Moreno convinced Yollie to dye her old white summer dress black so it would look brand new. At first Yollie didn’t think it would work so she couldn’t stand to look. When her mother was finished she was so surprised and happy. She thought the dress looked like the clothing the people in New York wear. At the dance when it started to rain, everyone went inside when Yollie realizes a black puddle. When Yollie got home she yelled at her mom because the dye on her dress came off. After hearing what Yollie said, Mrs. Moreno started crying. She wanted to give everything she can to her daughter, Yollie. Mrs. Moreno took out 5 twenties from the secret stash of money and Yollie and her mother drove off happily to Macy’s to buy a new outfit.

Did you ever have a problem you couldn’t solve? In “Mother and Daughter and “Thank You, M’am” both share many similarities and differences. The theme statement is one similarity. Yollie and Roger both wanted something they couldn’t afford. One difference the two stories have is that both characters used different strategies to get what they want. Yollie dyed a dress so it looked like a new dress to solve her problem of wanting a new dress. Roger stole to solve his problem. Both characters wanted something they couldn’t get but they solved their problem in the end.

Did you learn a lesson? Yollie and Roger learned the lesson that they don’t always get what they want. I really wanted this pair of earrings that were very beautiful but I couldn’t get it. My mom said that they were too expensive. The pair of earrings had real diamonds on it so the price was off the ceiling. Now that I look back I knew my mom was right not to buy the pair of earrings for me. I went back a few months after and thought about the decision and I know at that point it wasn’t worth it. I think Yollie and Roger learned the same lesson I did, “You don’t always get what you want.”