Tone is the attitude the author takes toward the subject of the text. The primary conflict in this story is between Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones and Roger, a young boy who tries to rob her. Mrs. Jones quickly learns that Roger has no one at home to support him, and she drags him back to her own home to offer him a good meal and clean him up. Through her response, we are presented with a compassionate and optimistic tone.
Mrs. Jones could have reacted with anger toward a young boy who attempted to steal from her. Instead, she is able to recognize the true motives behind Roger's actions, and she sees an opportunity to guide him in a different direction. She demonstrates the importance of presenting oneself with cleanliness and comments that he must be hungry to try and steal from her. When Roger confesses that he instead wanted her money so that he could purchase a new pair of shoes, Mrs. Jones asks him why he simply didn't ask her for the money. Roger is floored by her response.
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