Who Is Miss Strangeworth's Character In The Possibility Of Evil

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In the story “The Possibility of Evil” Shirley Jackson’s choices of Miss Strangeworth’s characterization as well as the plot of the story indicates the story was influenced by southern Gothicism. The Gothicism movement is described as including mystery, social issues, a main character who is different from everyone. The southern gothic elements in the story assist in developing Miss Strangeworth’s character. One of the biggest characteristics of this movement is the main character is different from everyone else. Miss Adela Strangeworth as suggested by her name is an offbeat character in this story. This movement often includes mystery, Miss Strangeworth writes anonymous letters to people in her own community. Miss Strangeworth doesn’t “concern herself with the facts” in the letters she likes to include more “negotiable stuff of suspicion”. She writes a letter to Mrs. Foster who is having an operation next month, Miss Strangeworth composed this letter with the intention of scaring the women, the letter included phrases such as, “they’re only human… Suppose the knife slipped.” Miss Strangeworth wants to rid her town of “evil lurking nearby”, but she is the bearer of evil in “her town” by writing these letters telling everyone what they’re doing wrong. She brings the evil upon herself by writing these hateful notes, in the…show more content…
Miss Strangeworth is perceived as the upper class in this town who’s roses were passed down from her grandmother to her mother which are now hers. The roses are symbolizing the slaves whom she never “gave away ” or wanted to free, she saw them as her property. The idea of losing her slaves [roses] “bothered Miss Strangeworth to think of people wanting to carry them away.” When the roses were killed it represented the ending of the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves in the South. However, “Wickedness was never easily
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