Shirley Jackson's 'The Possibility Of Evil'

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What comes to mind when you think of Shirley Jackson? For most people, nothing. That’s because she lived 53 years ago. But, if she was alive today, she would be one of the most recognizable horror authors of all time. Jackson was born in San Francisco in 1916, and grew up with her parents and younger brother. Saying her mother, Geraldine, was abusive would be an understatement. Geraldine Jackson called her daughter a, “failed abortion,” and constantly criticized her hair and weight. As an adult, Jackson channeled her dark past onto paper. She wrote “The Haunting of Hill House,” which is arguably one of the best ghost stories of all time. She also wrote “The Lottery,” which is, by far, her most famous masterpiece. Recently, there has been more interest in Jackson 's work.…show more content…
One of her pieces that has been gaining popularity lately is the short story, “The Possibility of Evil.” It’s about an old woman named Miss Strangeworth, who lives in the Strangeworth house, built directly by her grandfather. Her grandmother planted several roses in the front yard, and now Miss Strangeworth treasures those roses. But, she becomes paranoid thinking that evil is lurking everywhere in her small town, As a result, she writes letters to the people in the town to abate evil, but this only causes them to hate each other. She never signs her name, so no one knows who’s writing the letters. Eventually, she drops a letter outside, and a boy delivers it to the address on the envelope. The readers can assume that the boy told the recipient that the letter is from Miss Strangeworth. The next day, Miss Strangeworth gets a letter of her own. In the end, all the evil she spread in the town came back to haunt her. By sprinkling her unique ideas and grammar into the story, Jackson creates an ominous
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