In Thank You, M'am by Langston Hughes, the reader is immediately introduced to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones and can form an opinion of her quite readily. The fact that her purse contains a great variety of items, except "hammer and nails" indicates that Mrs. Jones is a woman who is prepared for any eventuality. This is one of the reasons why she seems unfazed by Roger's assault on her person and his attempted theft of her purse.
Her reactions when the narrator says, "the large woman simply turned around and kicked him right-square in his blue-jeaned sitter" confirm that Mrs. Jones is not an average woman and certainly not one to be taken advantage of. From this quote, the reader can presume that she has faced this kind of circumstance before because she knows what to do to have the most impact and to ensure that Roger does not get what he came for. The fact that she takes it in her stride also indicates her matter-of-fact personality and also that she is not afraid. She acts impulsively because she has a strong sense of right and wrong and intends to ensure that this is upheld at all costs. The reader understands this very well and may even be scared himself of such an imposing character.