One of the most striking similarities between these two pieces of literature is the characterization of a strong female. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is determined to steer young Roger back in the right direction after he attempts to rob her. Not shying away from confrontation, she fairly drags him back to her own house after learning that he doesn't have anyone at home who will care for him. Instead of being angry with Roger, Mrs. Jones attempts to use this opportunity to provide some guidance to a boy whose actions show that he's in need of positive mentoring. She is frank with Roger, telling him that she has "done things, too, which [she] would not tell [Roger] neither tell God, if he didn’t already know."
The narrator in "Mother to Son" demonstrates this same type of strong, positive mentoring. In this poem, her son has suffered some type of defeat, implied in the mother's advice that he can't give up now when he "finds it's kinder hard." She recalls times in her own life when "life ... ain't been no crystal stair." She has walked through places "where there ain't been no light," yet she has kept "a-climbin' on." This voice is quite similar to the sense of shared experience that Mrs. Jones conveys in her conversations with Roger. Both females present an attitude of perseverance through life's struggles in their conversations with Roger and the son, admitting that they have faced their own struggles and have emerged on the other side of them.
One key difference is that the narrator in "Mother to Son" presents the shared relationship of family, while Mrs. Jones is a stranger to Roger. This contrast shows the importance in mentorship, which can exist in a variety of forms. Sometimes young people find positive influences within their own families, and sometimes family offers no such guidance. In these cases, it becomes the responsibility of the community to demonstrate compassion and strong leadership in working with youth who are headed down the wrong path.