Do you think that Roger has changed at the end of the story "Thank You, M'am"? Explain.

Roger has likely changed by the end of the short story "Thank You, Ma'm," mostly because of the trust that Mrs. Jones extends to him. He realizes that he does not want to be mistrusted after Mrs. Jones treats him with such concern and kindness, and this is likely the beginning of a new path for Roger.

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From the beginning, Roger proves that he has the capacity to change and has been caught in the middle of a horrible decision which he comes to regret. After trying to mug Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, he doesn't really try to resist her efforts to drag him to her...

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From the beginning, Roger proves that he has the capacity to change and has been caught in the middle of a horrible decision which he comes to regret. After trying to mug Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, he doesn't really try to resist her efforts to drag him to her house. He also uses kind manners and treats her with respect in addressing her after his attempt at mugging her fails.

Once inside her home, Roger realizes that he can choose to flee:

After he had dried his face and not knowing what else to do dried it again, the boy turned around, wondering what next. The door was open. He could make a dash for it down the hall. He could run, run, run, run, run!

But he doesn't run. Instead, he follows the directions he's given, and even when presented with a clear opportunity to take the money he'd tried to originally steal, Roger refrains from doing so:

The woman did not watch the boy to see if he was going to run now, nor did she watch her purse which she left behind her on the day-bed. But the boy took care to sit on the far side of the room where he thought she could easily see him out of the corner of her eye, if she wanted to. He did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.

Because Mrs. Jones shows concern and kindness for this young boy whom she does not know, Roger doesn't want to inflict any further harm on her. He respects her and her efforts in feeding him and trusting him—particularly after the stunt he's pulled. Mrs. Jones helps Roger to understand that everyone makes mistakes, and she confesses that she's made her share of them:

I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son—neither tell God, if he didn’t already know.

Mrs. Jones offers Roger kindness, generosity, and trust, and then she actually gifts him the money he originally tried to steal from her. Roger does not want to be mistrusted because he now understands that his actions have consequences, and he can choose a better path—one that doesn't harm other innocent people. Although he never sees her again, it's easy to imagine that this evening transforms Roger into a young man who respects himself enough to avoid such trouble in the future.

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There is enough evidence to suggest that Roger has changed his ways after his enlightening interaction with Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. Shortly after Mrs. Jones drags Roger to her home, she lets him go and instructs him to wash up in the sink. Instead of running out the front door, Roger decides to wash his face. Mrs. Jones proceeds to sympathize with Roger and does not lecture him about his actions. Instead, Mrs. Jones fixes Roger something to eat and leaves her purse on the day-bed, which is within Roger's reach. Roger reveals a dramatic change in character by purposely sitting on the far side of the room in an attempt to gain Mrs. Jones's trust. As a tough, street-wise teenager, Roger would typically not think twice about snatching her purse and running out the door. However, Roger shows his change of character through his desire to gain Mrs. Jones's trust.

While they eat together, Mrs. Jones does not ask Roger embarrassing questions and even cuts him a slice of cake before giving him ten dollars to buy a pair of blue suede shoes. Before Roger leaves, Mrs. Jones request that he behave himself from here on out and Roger is too overwhelmed to express his gratitude for her hospitality and understanding. Roger's profound experience is memorable and his character seems to change by the end of his interaction with Mrs. Jones.

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Roger has undoubtedly changed by the end of the story. He's responded well to Mrs. Jones's tough love, so much so that he no longer contemplates snatching her purse—even though he has a clear opportunity to do so.

If Roger really were the hard-core street hoodlum that Mrs. Jones originally took him to be, then he'd almost certainly have another go at stealing her purse or something else of value in the old lady's apartment. The fact that he doesn't is a sign of how much he's changed. He's come to realize how important it is to earn someone's trust; one gets the impression that this is the first time in his short life that he's ever really understood this. And having earned Mrs. Jones's trust, he's not about to compromise it.

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Certainly, there are indications that Roger experiences a change of attitude about stealing by the end of the story, "Thank You, Ma'am." Because Mrs. Jones is understanding of his neglect and empathizes with him as a person who has committed shameful deeds, Roger is moved by what she teaches him.

One key passage which underscores the inference that Roger has changed his attitude about stealing occurs after Mrs. Jones kindly takes him to her home and cooks a meal for him. As she stands at the stove behind a screen, Mrs. Jones seems unconcerned about her purse which she has left on the day-bed. Roger worries that she may think he wants to steal it yet, so he moves to the other side of the room

...where he thought she could easily see him out of the corner of her eye, if she wanted to. He did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.

This passage suggests that Roger has changed his attitude; he does not want to be thought of as a thief, and wants to be trusted. Later, when Mrs. Jones escorts him to the door and says, "Behave yourself, boy!" that Roger is so moved by her acts of charity toward him that he could not even murmur "Thank you, ma'am" also illustrates his change of heart.

  The boy wanted to say something other than, "Thank you, m'am," to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, but although his lips moved, he couldn't even say that as he turned at the foot of the barren stoop and looked up at the large woman in the door.

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