When is the theme forgiveness demonstrated in Thank You, M'am?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The theme of forgiveness is best demonstrated through the character of Mrs. Jones as she drags Roger home with her.

After Roger tries to steal her purse, Mrs. Jones puts "a half-nelson"--a wrestling hold in which a person is restrained by the other person's hand, which is passed under the arm of the other person, and then locking the hand on the person's neck--on Roger so that he has no choice but to go with her. She takes him to her place in a rooming house. There Roger asks if she is going to call the police.

“Not with that face, I would not take you nowhere,” said the woman. “Here I am trying to get home to cook me a bite to eat and you snatch my pocketbook! Maybe, you ain’t been to your supper either, late as it be. Have you?

It is at this point that Mrs. Jones demonstrates her Christian charity and forgiveness. Because she realizes that Roger has no real parental guidance, she mothers Roger some as she tells him to wash up and she will feed him. Then, as they eat together Mrs. Jones scolds Roger, saying all he had to do was ask her for some money. In fact, after they eat, Mrs. Jones, who has said that she has done some things of which she is not proud, gives Roger ten dollars and tells him to buy some suede shoes. She also urges him to not steal.