How might Roger's life have been different if Mrs. Jones had called the police in "Thank You, M'am"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We don't really know if Roger continued on his path toward a life of crime or not in the short story "Thank You, M'am." It would be nice to think that Mrs. Jones' act of kindness set him straight, and he never considered such an act of foolishness again. Assuming this is true, his life would certainly have been different if she had called the police instead of giving him a meal and money and sending him on his way. He would have had a police record, may have spent some time in jail or prison, and he would have had trouble gaining meaningful employment or continuing his education afterward. Her act may have hardened him, and he may have never had the second chance necessary to put his life in order. The dignity she showed him may have never been "paid forward" by Roger, and he may have never trusted anyone--black or white--again. 

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Thank You, M'am

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