The main characters of the short story are Roger and Mrs. Luella Jones Washington. In the exposition of the story, Roger tries to steal Mrs. Jones's purse. He fails at stealing her purse. Mrs. Jones takes Roger home with her to teach him a lesson. Mrs. Jones asks, "Ain't you go nobody home to tell you to wash your face?" Roger replies by telling her he does not have anybody. The reader learns here that Roger does not have a home.