Who are the characters, and what is the conflict between them in "Thank You, Ma'm"?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Thank You M'am," the characters are Ms. Jones and Roger. These two characters are not related biologically, but they do seem to have had something in common along life's way. Both characters are lacking in financial income. Both have a struggle in life to make ends meet.

The difference in Ms. Jones and Roger is that Ms. Jones works hard for her money. Roger tries to steal her purse.

Although it appears that there is a major conflict between Ms. Jones and Roger, there is more understanding on Ms. Jones's part. She too was once young and she admits that she did wrong. She understands that Roger is a product of his environment. He has no one at home to teach him right from wrong.

Meeting Ms. Jones is the best thing that ever happened to Roger. She shows she cares, even though he is a total stranger. She has no motive for caring other than the fact that she is a good woman. Her genuine care changes Roger. He could have run away with her purse while she was heating the food, but by this point in the story, Ms. Jones has impacted his life in such a way until he wants her to trust him. He is forever changed after only a few moments with a woman who shows a sincere interest in him.