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Roger's initial lack of motivation is what causes him to make the unwise decision to steal money to pay for the object of his desire--a pair of blue suede shoes. Even more foolish is the woman from whom he tries to purse-snatch--Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. Roger is a downtrodden young man who apparently receives little attention at home. But he is also a coward, choosing to attack a woman late at night, assuming she will be an easy target. Instead of finding a job and earning the money to pay for the shoes, he decides to turn to crime. Whether Mrs. Jones' act of kindness in sharing her meager meal with him motivates Roger to change his ways is uncertain, but he probably uses the $10 given to him by the kind woman to buy the pair of shoes the next morning. Roger's farewell to Mrs. Jones--"Thank you, m'am"--indicates that he may have genuinely appreciated the gesture, possibly motivating him to think twice before making the same mistake again.
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