What theme about kindness and trust is communicated in the story "Thank You Ma'am"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Perhaps because she, too, has done things that "she would not even tell the Lord if He did not already know them," and she sees the neglectful state he is in, Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is empathetic and kind toward Roger and does not report his theft; instead, she takes him into her home in order to feed him. Furthermore, she gives him enough money to buy that for which he has attempted to steal money.

After grabbing Roger in his act of theft and noticing his dirty face, Mrs. Jones asks Roger if he has eaten, for she realizes that the boy has been alone with no one to supervise him. But, when she takes him to her home, she does not ask him anything about himself that could embarrass him. Then, while she charitably prepares a meal behind a room divider, Mrs. Jones leaves her purse on the other side of this screen, trusting Roger not to steal it. Further, as they eat, she scolds him about stealing, "...because shoes come by devilish like that will burn your feet." Handing him ten dollars from her purse, Mrs. Jones tells Roger to buy his suede shoes and not steal "because shoes come by devilish like that will burn your feet." I

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