Irony In Shirley Jackson's Story 'Charles'

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“Charles” Essay Shirley Jackson’s enticing story called “Charles” was filled with a plot twist and unforeseen outcomes. The story fixated on Laurie, a kindergartener and older sibling to his new infant sister. The setting took place in the 1950’s in Laurie’s home, school and kindergarten classroom. Laurie was extremely misbehaved during the beginning of his Kindergarten year. He had a difficult time adapting to the lack of his parents’ attention once his brother was born. Subsequently, Laurie sought negative attention, hoping to regain his parents’ focus onto himself. The story’s conflict arose when Laurie, also acknowledged as Charles, caused pandemonium in his class, with his peers, and throughout the school. To Laurie, acting out was a desperate endeavor to redirect his parents’ attention away from his new brother. First off, Laurie arrived home from Kindergarten and proceeded to tell his parents about a mischievous boy named Charles.…show more content…
During the PTA meeting, Laurie’s mother was “scanning each matronly face, trying to determine which one hid the secret of Charles.” (349) This is a major example of irony considering Laurie’s mother was hasty to judge Charles’ mom as matronly and secretive when she was, in fact, Charles’ mom. Laurie’s mother decided to seek out the teacher to inquire about Charles. “We maneuvered up to one another cautiously and smiled.” (349) Finally, Laurie’s mother asked about Charles and was subsequently told by the teacher that there was no boy named Charles in the class. This discussion was the turning point of the story. The discovery by Laurie’s mother that Laurie was actually “Charles” was the unanticipated climax of the story. The comprehension by Laurie’s mother was additional evidence that Laurie was pursuing negative attention from his teacher and any type of attention from his
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