“Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes is a young delinquent named Roger and a woman named Luella Bates Washington Jones who takes him in after he attempts to steal from her. Throughout the story, the woman shows kindness towards Roger even though he tried to steal her purse. This causes him to have a change of heart and realize his mistakes toward the end of the story. He is comforted by Luella as she gives him advice and feeds him. She also lets him wash up in her house. In addition, she talks to him about her childhood. She tells him that she was like him as a child.
From the moment he got caught stealing from her, it was made clear that he showed her manners. Later into the story, Roger develops a sense of trust for her. He also becomes more polite. When Luella mentions that he was probably hungry to have tried to steal her pocketbook, he tells her it was because he wanted a pair of blue suede shoes. He also tells Luella there is no one at his home. This reveals to the reader how Roger is not inherently a bad person and has learned from his mistakes by the end of the story. This also shows how Roger’s character develops throughout the story.