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Character Analysis Of Miss Adela Strangeworth In The Possibility Of Evil By Shirley Jackson

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In the short story “The Possibility of Evil” written by Shirley Jackson the main protagonist, Miss Adela Strangeworth demonstrates multiple traits of her complex personality through her actions, thoughts and the way she communicates. A couple of these traits that are significant to her character are insensitivity and masquerading. Imagine an insanely insensitive person who does not care how others feel. Miss Stangeworth’s unpleasant letters advocate her observations rather than facts or feelings. In a letter she writes anonymously to the Crane family saying “DIDN’T YOU EVER SEE AN IDIOT CHILD BEFORE? SOME PEOPLE JUST SHOULDN’T HAVE CHILDREN, SHOULD THEY?” (Jackson 225) She’s talking about a six month old infant who cannot walk or sit. The Crane family has been…show more content…
She acts like a sympathetic person, but in reality she is cold and judgmental. When Hellen Crane shares her concern about her six month old infant not being able to walk or sit, Miss Strangeworth tells Hellen Crane, “[a]ll babies are different. Some of them develop much more quickly than others” (Jackson 224) and calls the baby “Her Highness” (Jackson 224). Later on, she writes a very unpleasant letter to the Crane family saying “DIDN’T YOU EVER SEE AN IDIOT CHILD BEFORE? SOME PEOPLE JUST SHOULDN’T HAVE CHILDREN, SHOULD THEY?” (Jackson 225). She acts pleasantly with the infant in front of Hellen Crane but, shows her judgmental thoughts while writing the letter. This shows that she wears a mark in public and only shows her true self when alone. Although she had been living in the town for seventy one years, no one has been able to see her true face. Miss Strangeworth proves herself to be highly insensitive and masquerading. These traits best represent Mrs. Strangeworth’s personality because she seems to devalue the emotions of others and pretends to be pleasant being in public. All of her letters show her judgemental thoughts about others but she pretends to a kind person in front of
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