We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

“The Possibility of Evil” summary and analysis Essay Sample

essay
The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

“The Possibility of Evil” summary and analysis Essay Sample

The possibility of evil

Shirley Jackson’s “The Possibility of Evil” is a short story about a seemingly sweet little old woman, living in a small town with a house and prized bed of roses outside that has been in her family for three generations. The woman, Miss Strangeworth, is narrated as she goes through her normal Tuesday routine stopping to chat with the other locals. Upon doing so, she notices the solemn looks on some and speculates to herself about why the town has to consume itself with the possibility of evil summary. In an attempt to clean up the town, she writes several horrific letters to those who looked distraught, implying that maybe her letters are what upset the townspeople in the first place. After Miss Strangeworth dropped one of the letters at the post office one night, a local boy personally delivered it himself when he could not catch her before she left. The next morning, she received a letter looking similar to those she sends out. Opening the letter, she is shocked to read that she should look to see what used to be her roses. The central idea of this story is that evil could reside in any of us, even those you would least expect.

The central character in this short story is none other than Miss Strangeworth. Almost the entire story takes place around her and her life as Jackson writes in detail about the dainty old woman. She is the major character because without her, the story would have a void and be uninteresting. Miss Strangeworth is what ties everything together, making her encounters throughout the story relevant and come together. Miss Strangeworth gets a taste of her own medicine at the end when evil takes its toll on her unnecessary attempts “to keep her town alert to it” (343). She
was careless and made a mistake by dropping her letter at the new post office, causing the Harris boy to deliver it to her victim himself. Ultimately, she seems to be consistently static throughout the story, seeing evil in anyone but herself.

This brings us to the supporting character, which could be inferred to be Don Crane. As the reader, one can easily assume it was Don who destroyed her roses and wrote the letter in response to hers. The reason he could be the supporting character is how it seems he punished Miss Strangeworth for her hurtful words to the town by attacking something she greatly cherished and nurtured, just as she did towards his child. Though she felt she was doing the town a great service by ridding of the evil, she may have known she was fighting fire with fire. She would not even sign her name on “such trash” because of the lack of understanding from the recipients (344). Without Crane’s reaction, she would have never known of the true possibility of evil without interfering with it.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Paul Marshall Commentary

McEwan uses Paul Marshall's character to convey his implicit social class through the use of literary devices. McEwan exploits sentence structure to portray Paul Marshall's lack of accomplishment in his life, as he is able to illustrate all his success in a short rehearsed speech. Furthermore the elongated sentence also highlights his insecurities, as it portrays that Paul Marshall has rehearsed his speech thoroughly and...

The image of the narrator character in...

The novel "Eugene Onegin" is the result of creative maturity of Pushkin, and it is the richest content and its most popular product. The text reveals to the reader a broad picture of Russian reality since the beginning of the XIX century, populated by full-blooded human characters.Among them stands a particular presence - a story. Along with the main characters stand out and his personality,...

Fasting Feasting Extract Close Analysis

In the ending of chapter twenty six, Mrs. Patton decides to request Arun to join her and Melanie 'to spend the day down at the swimming hole'. The swimming hole is used by Desai to illustrate America and nature. It is compared to the 'scummy green swimming pool' which represents India. This can be seen as India being a lot smaller in size to America...

Joe-Bob - Creative Writing

Joe-Bob sat despondently in Mr. Martin's Barbershop at the corner of Kentucky Street, waited to be served. The barbershop was empty because he was early. He was early because he had taken the day off work to get some hair to cover the oval and round shape, black mole that has grown on his forehead. Joe-Bob was a short, stout, sedentary and bald person, who...

How is Shylock presented in Act IV...

Shylock is a very complex and confusing character and we see many different facets of him throughout this scene. He could be seen as a villain that is made by Shakespeare to be hated by the audience so that his downfall later in the play can be jeered at. On the other hand, he could be portrayed as a character that is much deeper than...

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

We can't stand spam as much as you do No, thanks. I prefer suffering on my own.
logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?