What is Roger's view of Mrs. Jones at the beginning of "Thank You, Ma'am" by Langston Hughes?

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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At the beginning of Langston Hughes' short story "Thank You, Ma'am," the boy, Roger, looks at Mrs. Jones as a nobody—as his victim. He plans to steal her purse and probably does not even think of the consequences to Mrs. Jones. He wants something, and he aims to get it. When Mrs. Jones stops him from stealing her purse, Roger is afraid and looks at her as an enemy. He thinks she will turn him over to the police. It is not until they get to Mrs. Jones' home that Roger begins to realize she is not going to turn him in. When she tells him that she did things she shouldn't have done when she was younger, he begins to relax. Finally, when she makes him supper and gives him money, he realizes that she is a thinking, feeling human being and did not deserve to have her purse stolen. He is changed by the experience.

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