Miss Strangeworth's Roses In The Possibility Of Evil By Shirley Jackson

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Roses can vary in colour and type, just like any other flower. All roses may symbolize different sentiments and have different meanings. They are presented on occasions of all kinds. Shirley Jackson's short story "The Possibility of Evil," uses Miss Strangeworth's roses to symbolize her hidden back story to her spiteful, colourful notes. Is she really evil or does she just simply want a perfect, pleasant life? In this short story, Miss Adela Strangeworth is an elegant seventy-one year-old lady noticeable with her dainty walk and her rustling skirts. The connection between the roses and her wishes for perfection is introduced earlier in the story, where it is stated that Miss Strangeworth never gives away the roses that her grandmother planted as she believes that "The roses belonged on Pleasant Street, and it bothered {her*} to think of people wanting to carry them away." (P.1, Par.3) Her red, pink, and white roses are always spoken of around her town and the tourists. Typically, red roses symbolize passion, pink roses symbolize gratitude and appreciation, and white roses symbolize purity and spirituality. All of these feelings are necessary for a pleasant, happy life. The name “Pleasant Street” also represents Miss Strangeworth’s desires for all things to be pleasurable and perfect, so the fact that the roses belong to Pleasant Street shows that she sees the feelings associated with her roses as only belonging to her. Miss Strangeworth seems like a decent old lady who cares very much about her town and the citizens. She tries to prevent the “evil” in her town by secretly writing unkind letters to those who she believes are in need …show more content…

Miss Strangeworth was an example of this, but in a way that made her peers perceive her as evil. Some may see her as just one who wants her ideal life but others may see her as a cruel, old women, being a bossy queen of her town and her

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