Miss Strangeworth In The Possibility Of Evil By Shirley Jackson

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Entitlement is a significant threat to society. When a person has predetermined that they possess the right to a certain privilege or special treatment, it can cause major chaos. Miss Strangeworth believes she naturally inherits the privilege of pointing out others flaws, in an attempt to perfect her town that she believes her ancestors created. “There wouldn’t have been a town… if it hadn’t been for my grandfather.” (163) This self-assigned duty of anonymously revealing the flaws of the population only reveals the true identity of Miss Strangeworth. In “The Possibility of Evil” by Shirley Jackson, symbolism, irony, and foreshadowing are used to present the idea that when one believes that they have the entitlement to point out imperfections …show more content…

This entitlement is caused by pride, popularity, and one's role in a society. This is made evident in the story of Miss Strangeworth, as her reputation in the town leads her to pursue this perfection that she craves. Through symbolism and foreshadowing, Shirley Jackson shows that Miss Strangeworth believes she is entitled to the position of being the matriarch of the town because of her status. Her prestige and familiarity are made obvious when it is said that “Miss Strangeworth’s hats were proverbial” (171). Miss Strangeworth is well known and not a stranger to the people of the town, which may be a leading factor in why she believes she is entitled to expose the evil in the town. Her high self-regard is revealed when she “spares” herself after working in the garden. The fact that she takes it easy on herself is alluding to her belief that she is far more important than the rest of the town, and doesn't need to work as hard. Lastly, her ego and status are made clear again when the narrator expresses that “no one… would dare disturb Miss Strangeworth” (171). This statement reveals that Miss Strangeworth may be feared by her fellow citizens, which shows her higher status in the community, as well as the arrogance she embodies. This pretentious entitlement can cause considerable harm, to society, as well as within the person them

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