What Is the Theme of "Thank You M'am?"

The power of love and trust against the backdrop of poverty is the primary theme of Langston Hughes' short story "Thank You, M'am." The collision of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones with the young Roger, who tries to steal her purse, is both psychological as well as physical. His desire to own a pair of blue suede shoes motivates him to try what appears to be his first robbery, but her upright morality and firm belief in doing what is right knocks his greed right down to the ground.