What are some differences and similarities between "Thank You, M'am" and "Mother to Son"?

Differences between "Thank You, M'am" and "Mother and Son" include structure, with one being a poem and the other a short story. Also, there is no biological connection between the characters in "Thank You, M'am." Similarities between them include the showcasing of a maternal relationship and the desire of an older woman to help guide a younger man.

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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...

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