Analysis Of Miss Adela Strangeworth In Shirley Jackson's The Possibility Of Evil

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In the story "The Possibility Of Evil" written by Shirley Jackson there is a peculiar character called Miss Adela Strangeworth. She is an old women in a small town she has watched grow in her entire lifetime but she is less innocent than you'd think, in fact, she is a villainous women and shows how cruel and evil she is in many ways. Miss Adela Strangeworth's actions show that she is oblivious to how her methods effect her town in an evil and despicable way. She is unaware that she is the evil in the town, terrorizing its inhabitants. she writes letters to civilians who Adela thinks are "wicked" and because she is the oldest person in town, she feels obligated to protect it (Jackson 226). Jackson writes about Adela's twisted thinking be writing "as long as evil existed in the world it was miss Strangeworth's duty to keep her town alert" (Jackson 226). Another action of Adela that reveals something about her character is her obsessiveness over her rose garden. Adela "never gave away any of her roses" because she cares so much for them, more than she cares about the people living in the town that "belonged to her" (Jackson 223). She doesn't trust anyone with her roses just as she thinks the people in her …show more content…

The letters she sends in secret to torment the civilians shows that she believes she is doing good and is helping people when she is ruining their lives and hurting their relationships. This shows when Adela is buying her groceries. Miss Strangeworth notices Mrs. Harper's "[shaky hand] and points out that Mrs. Harper "[does not] look well" (Jackson 224). It is later revealed that Adela sent another letter out to make it sound like Mrs. Harper's husband is having an affair. It really is not any of Adela's business but she finds a way to stick her nose into every ones business and making people's lives

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