Miss Strangeworth Character Essay: 71 Year Old Spinster Pleasant Street seemed to be Miss Strangeworth’s play house because she thought she owned the place, at least Strangeworth thought so. Meanwhile on the inside she is evil and thinks she is at the top of the town’s hierarchy. In fact she has a god complex. Miss Adela Strangeworth, a character in the short story “A Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson, is a 71 year old who is thought by the townsfolk as a sweet puny lady but she is nothing but that. Because of the way Miss Strangeworth is, all horrible actions must have a consequence and she finds out the truth of that statement when her vintage old self turns into the evil lady that no one has seen before, and she realizes that she wants more control than she has, basically a god complex.
When small, happy towns are pictured, most people imagine generous townspeople who act like a community. On the contrary, Pleasant Street in the short story “The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson, may come across as a delightful town, until more of the truth is revealed. Miss Adela Strangeworth comes off as a sweet, old lady, but as the story continues, readers will encounter that Miss Strangeworth is not the character that was portrayed at the beginning. Adela is a deceptive, obsessive, and oblivious woman who is well known throughout the town.
Mrs. Strangeworth made unethical decisions that lead to hurt feelings among the people in her town. Mrs. Strangeworth's intentions are to protect the townspeople from evil. Mrs Strangeworth corrupts the relationships of the other people in town toward one another and towards her. Truly, Miss Strangeworth thought that the town people were corrupt and evil, but it was really Miss Strangeworth.
For most people, the words evil and harsh are not the typical traits used to describe an elderly woman. However, in the short story “The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson, the 71 year old character Miss Adela Strangeworth, has a dark predatory nature hiding behind her highly respectable and sweet exterior. She preys upon her peers by misleading them into thinking everything is fine, only to subsequently tear them down. She accomplishes this by concealing her cruel, deceitful and perfectionist personality by maintaining an honourable reputation within her town.
The character Miss Strangeworth in the literature “The Possibility of Evil” in inconsiderate and a perfectionist. She is inconsiderate because of her thoughts and actions. For example, Miss Strangeworth thinks this “Miss Strangeworth noticed that Miss Chandler had not taken much trouble with her hair that morning, and sighed” (Jackson 112-114). This reveals how inconsiderate she is to others solely picking out their imperfections. Miss Strangeworth is also a perfectionist who disdains imperfection or sloppiness. This shows clearly in this quote “Martha,” she said, “you don’t look well.” This is when she calls out Mrs. Harper for not seeming well, in public (Jackson 75). This is why Miss Strangeworth is an inconsiderate perfectionistic personality.
This story centers around Miss Strangeworth, who was raised and currently resides in the town built by her descendants. Miss Strangeworth is immensely prideful in her family's legacy and believes that the town belongs to her. As the last surviving family member, she feels it is her duty to “fix” all that is wrong in town and rid it from all of its evil by saying, “The town has to be kept clean and sweet, but people everywhere were lustful and evil and degraded, and needed to be watched; the world was so large and there was only one Strangeworth left in it” (Jackson 178). Miss Strangeworth believes that she is the good amongst evil and it is her job to stop her evil neighbors in her town. Miss Strangeworth’s method of trying to “fix” the problems is by taking daily walks in town and observing the behavior of others.
In the short story, “The Possibility of Evil” you can right away tell by the title that there will be some kind of evil going around. In the story there is a lady called Miss strangeworth who in the end turns out to be a bully. However, Miss Strangeworth is not a physical bully, she is in a way a cyber bully but instead of posting or sending messages she writes multiple letters to people in her town pointing out certain things she’s noticed. Throughout the story no one knows who is sending the letters, this is being anonymous. In the article “The Online Disinhibition Effect” it also gives examples of how one can keep their identity hidden by going as “anonymous”
Is Ms. Strangeworth a victim OR villain In the short story “The Possibility of Evil” written by Shirley Jackson, the protagonist Ms. Strangeworth is a villain because she isn’t what everyone’s aspect of her is, she is very deceptive, and the letters she sends are the very cause of the evil she’s trying to stop. Ms. Strangeworth is a seventy-one-year-old lady who lives in a little town, which she thinks is her own. She always feels the need to know everything, about everyone. Even though, no one knows who she really is.
Yet I have to disagree with these statements because we see how Adeline’s reputation as a “fallen” woman is not the result of a shameful behavior but of her negation to conform to the norms and moral codes of the period. She is taking a stand for femininity and independence, as well as contesting the notion of the docile woman that conduct books so vehemently affirmed. Because of that Adeline has to endure the pain caused by society’s rejection, and to use Gary Kelly’s words “she is taken to be anything from naughty to vicious by other good characters”(1980: 200). Thus, we are lead to see Adeline’s virtuous character as irrelevant as long as she endorses in radical philosophies which guide women towards vice and immorality. But is her behavior in any way degenerate and leading others on “the path of sin?”(Opie, 1999: 240), or the real problem has to do more with the fact that, in a patriarchal society, Adeline professes her desires and dares to live with her lover outside the confines of
Of course, one almost intuitively understands that the novel’s leading women adhere rather closely to socio-gender norms; both Adeline and Clara, the two women who most represent Radcliffe’s idealized morality, are traditionally beautiful, focus on emotional intelligence via poetry and music rather than on scientific pursuits, and represent the appealing innocence of ingénues. In the same manner that Adeline’s unconsciousness contributes to her integrity, it also appears that her extensive physical beauty results in part from her inherent saintliness, her beautiful eyes linked to some intrinsic purity (7). Further highlighting this ethical preference for femininity, Adeline exhibits fear related directly to the presence of men; in the Marquis’s chateau, her terror specifically abates when she realizes that “elegant” and “beautiful” women surround her, and later the inverse occurs as she balks in fear at “the voices of men” (158, 299). On some level, Adeline seems to recognize that masculinity poses a significant threat to her, and instinctively shies away from its
The Possibility of Evil Miss Strangeworth got what she deserved. She hurt the people that she sent the letters to. So the people got revenge but cutting down her precious roses. Miss Strangeworth seems to be a sweet innocent old lady that loves her roses but at night she went incognito to write and deliver hate letters to the people in town telling them different things that are very offending and causes a lot of controversy in the town. Miss Strangeworth family has lived on pleasant street for generation.
She cannot think the thought, that anyone would think a cruel or evil thought of her. Despite that, the Sachers wish her dead, or at least at some kind of old people’s home. This is a fact, but Geraldine Turner locks it out, and waves nicely while mowing her
She is the one female character that challenges the standard of a southern, rural woman. Unlike Cora she isn’t obedient to her husband nor God. She cheated on her husband, Anse, with a minister and isn’t sexually satisfied by Anse. Addie isn’t happy with the traditional way of life of having a husband and kids, “So I took Anse. And when I knew that I had Cash, I knew that living was terrible…”
Miss Strangeworth, a kind old lady in a small town where everybody knows each other.Living all by herself, known for her attracting roses in front of her house.Turns out she isn’t the lady everybody had in their mind, she was more than just an old lady.She is a bully, hurting other people by sending letters anonymously.