Roger learns that kindness can be far more effective than either discipline or punishment. Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones could certainly have turned Roger in to the police or punished him in some other way, but, instead, she seems more interested in whatever hardships have, perhaps, caused him to feel that he must steal from others. She ascertains that there's no one at home to tell him to wash his face, no one to make sure he's had his dinner, and no one to teach him right from wrong or care for him. As a result of this knowledge, she tells him to wash his face and she feeds him a wholesome dinner. She shares what she has with him rather than punishing him, and she even assures him that she knows how he feels because she's been there too. Mrs. Jones tells him,
"Well, you didn't have to snatch my pocketbook to get some suede shoes [...]. You could of asked me."
And then she precedes to give him the money for the shoes he wants. He probably learns a great deal more from her kindness...
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