Analysis Of Mrs. Strangeworth In The Possibility Of Evil By Shirley Jackson

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“The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson has a truly unexpected plot and Mrs. Strangeworth has changed throughout the story. Mrs. Strangeworth is the main character in this book and in the beginning, she is a pleasant, caring old woman who enjoys roses and talking to others. The other people in the town have received rude and harsh letters from an anonymous person. During the end of the story, the reader soon finds out that Mrs. Strangeworth has been writing the letters and as a punishment, the people destroy her roses. Mrs. Strangeworth dramatically changes through the story and she teaches us the theme of appearance can be deceiving.
Throughout the story, Mrs. Strangeworth is characterized indirectly and she is considered a round character.
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Strangeworth. One example of this theme is in the text, it states, “ She was seventy-one, Miss Strangeworth told the tourists, with a pretty little dimple showing by her lip… (page 1, paragraph 2)” At the beginning, Mrs. Strangeworth seems like a warm-hearted, lovable old woman. Later on in the story, it states, “ She selected a green sheet this time and wrote quickly: Have you found out yet what they were all laughing about after you left the bridge club on Thursday? Or is the wife really the last one to know? (page 4, paragraph 3)” Mrs. Strangeworth has completely changed personalities and is now known as a disrespectful, awful women who starts rumors. At the end of the story, it states, “She began to cry silently for the wickedness of the world when she red the words: Look out at what used to be your roses. (page 6, last sentence)” The end of the story helps show the theme by presenting the consequence Mrs. Strangeworth received for her actions.
After reading the book, we find Mrs. Strangeworth as changed through indirect characterization and we found the theme of appearance is deceiving. Mrs. Strangeworth changed from the sweet, loving woman she was in the beginning to the secretive, anonymous rumor starter in the end. The theme developed through Mrs. Strangeworth’s actions and she received awful payback from the other
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