Jealousy In Shirley Jackson's The Possibility Of Evil

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People often try to justify their actions, it’s in their nature to provide a reason whether they are right or wrong, but sometimes their actions can cause them to become the victim. Shirley Jackson helps to convey this idea in her short story “The Possibility of Evil.” At the beginning of the short story readers are introduced to Miss Strangeworth, a highly respected elder in the town. As readers progress through the story they learn that Miss Strangeworth is trying to cleanse her town of the evil nature embedded within the townspeople by mailing hateful letters to each and every one of them, but her actions later end up causing her to become a victim of her decisions. Throughout the story Shirley Jackson suggests that revenge, self-righteousness…show more content…
This is evident in the letters that were sent by Miss Strangeworth. For example the letter directed to the Mrs. Foster, “You never know about doctors. Remember they’re only human and need money like the rest of us”. (5) This shows that she is jealous of Mrs.Foster and her wealth because she is able to afford an expensive operation. Another example is the letter addressed to the Crane family, “Didn’t you ever see an idiot child before? Some people just shouldn’t have children should they”? (4) This shows that she is envious of the family because they provide each other with company and they love each other, “ most infatuated young parents she had ever known”. Whereas Miss Strangeworth lives all alone. In short, these letters have proved that since she is jealous of her victims she tries to disrupt their way of living so she can feel superior. Also as a person is immersed with jealousy they can be blinded by their actions because they are solely focused on torturing their victims they too can become the victim of their actions. If she had not been jealous and kept to herself, she would still have her roses and the respect of the
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