Love And Attention In Shirley Jackson's Charles

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According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, humans desperately need love to be happy and satisfied. In the story “Charles” by Shirley Jackson, Laurie does not receive much love and attention from his parents because of his baby sister. Since Laurie will do anything for attention, he creates a character like Charles. Laurie invents Charles because he wants attention from his parents, his teachers, and his peers. Charles is created by Laurie because Laurie wants attention from his parents. On the first day of school, “he came running home… the front door slamming open… and the voice suddenly became raucous shouting, ‘Isn't anybody here?’” (Jackson 1). His parents are not waiting for him when he comes back from school as if Laurie is not their main priority. However, after telling his absurd, crazy stories about Charles each day, they gradually become more curious about how his day went and how Charles behaved. Next Monday, Laurie’s…show more content…
Laurie makes up Charles because he wants attention from his teachers. When Laurie’s mom introduces herself at the PTA meeting, Laurie’s kindergarten teacher replies, “We’re all so interested in Laurie” (Jackson 3). The teacher was speaking for the other parents as well when she said they were interested. This depicts that the students’ parents must’ve heard stories about Laurie as a troubled kid at home too. Next, Charles’ mischievous behavior brings attention to himself during class. As a consequence, his kindergarten teacher needs to punish him. For example, “She [the teacher] tried to make him color with red crayons… Charles wanted to color with green crayons so he hit the teacher and she spanked him said said nobody play with Charles but everybody did” (Jackson 1). When he gets in trouble, Charles receives the attention he seeks for. Furthermore, the teacher had to lecture the students not to play with Charles which also brings attention from his

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