The two characters in Langston Hughes's short story "Thank You, M'am" are Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones and Roger. Roger is portrayed as a young, naive adolescent who makes the reckless decision to attempt to steal Mrs. Jones's purse as she is walking home alone one evening. In doing so, Roger stumbles to the ground, and Mrs. Jones quickly grips him up and refuses to let go of his collar. Mrs. Jones notices that Roger is frightened and his face is dirty. When Roger mentions that he has not eaten dinner, Mrs. Jones surmises that he has a difficult home life and proceeds to drag him to her house.
Mrs. Jones is depicted as a mature, sympathetic woman who is both benevolent and forgiving. She instructs Roger to wash his face, gives him a warm plate of food, encourages him to make better decisions in life, and gives him ten dollars to buy blue suede shoes at the end of the story.